Greta Thunberg praises protesters as hundreds of thousands expected for Montreal climate march – CBC News

Greta Thunberg praises protesters as hundreds of thousands expected for Montreal climate march - CBC News
What you need to know about the climate strikes across Canada
Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg praised those on Friday who gathered in Montreal for what was expected to be the city's largest climate march.

"I am very excited to be here, and it is going to be very much fun today, to once again stand together with people from around the world, for one common cause," said the 16-year-old, whose activism has made headlines around the world.

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"It is very moving to see everyone, everyone who is so passionate to march and strike, people of all ages and all generations."

U.S. President Donald Trump mocked Thunberg on Twitter after her UN appearance. People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier called Thunberg “mentally unstable” earlier this month. Fox News contributor Michael J. Knowles said she was “mentally ill” after her attention-grabbing speech at the UN, prompting the network to issue an apology.

Friday's event comes in the middle of the federal election campaign and could be the largest environmental protest in Montreal's history. 

Australian comedian Mark Humphries and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation have teamed up to produce a tongue-in-cheek video that mocks some of the flimsier arguments levelled at Thunberg. The satirical video set the internet on fire Thursday, racking up 10 million views within its first 24 hours.

Young people — many not old enough to vote — are demanding politicians adopt a climate action plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to zero by 2050.

Here we go again…As you may have noticed, the haters are as active as ever – going after me, my looks, my clothes, my behaviour and my differences.They come up with every thinkable lie and conspiracy theory. (Thread->)

Why You Should Climate Strike Today

Thunberg met with Indigenous youths ahead of the march, as well as with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

"My message to all the politicians is the same: to just listen to the science and act on the science."

She’s crossed the ocean in an environmentally friendly boat, brow-beaten world leaders at the United Nations and launched a string of global student protests demanding immediate action to protect the environment.

UN protocol used by youths in climate complaint not available to Canadian kids

The driving force behind the march is students, and classes at many high schools, colleges and universities are cancelled for the day.

Thunberg's presence in Montreal has created even more interest in the march. Activists said they were optimistic the movement would lead to change. 

"We want to ensure that in this election, which I think is really a referendum on climate change, voters recognize that, if you really want to see a green policy, you've got to vote for a party that is really going to hold the line and ensure that we don't go above 1.5 degrees Celsius," she said. 

Video: Harry: How can anyone deny climate change?

"Just know: every little thing we do counts, but the big things have to be done too," said Cedric Gray-Lehoux, a member of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Youth Network.

"We have to make a drastic change. We have to change the system. We have to say that enough is enough."

Police have warned downtown Montreal will be difficult to navigate, and Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante announced public transit will be free all day.

"We have a national climate plan that will reduce our emissions and hit our 2030 targets in a way that also includes getting a better price for our oil resources that allows us to put the profits directly into the fight against climate change," he said.

Many Montreal businesses, as well as unions and community organizations, have closed for the day so their employees can attend the demonstration.

Video: Climate strikes to take place around the world Friday

Ben Clarkson, a spokesperson for La Planète s'invite au Parlement, said the Montreal gathering is the culmination of a yearlong series of climate strikes, which began in August 2018. 

Everyone from big trade unions to over 1,200 workers at the Amazon headquarters, and from college kids to senior citizens, are setting the day aside to rally in their cities and towns for faster action from our governments and industries. You can find out whats happening in your community at

Hes, of course, obviously not doing enough: Greta Thunberg after meeting Trudeau in Montreal

La Planète is one of the groups organizing Friday's climate march whose name translates as "the planet goes to Parliament."

Strike, because young people have asked us to. In a well-ordered society, when kids make a reasonable request their elders should say yes — in this case with real pride and hope that the next generations are standing up for what matters;

More than 150 countries have since participated in the #FridaysForFuture movement, launched by Thunberg.

Strike, because the people who did the least to cause this crisis suffer first and worst — the people losing their farms to deserts and watching their islands sink beneath the waves arent the ones who burned the coal and gas and oil;

Clarkson said Montreal's protest movement is particularly powerful, and he's hopeful it will lead, ultimately, to significant change.

This story originally appeared in the Nation. It is republished here as part of The Tyees partnership with Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.

Video: Young and old in crowds at climate protests

"We have a history of popular mobilization that the rest of Canada and maybe the rest of North America doesn't have here in Montreal," he said. "That's been able to turn into and form into a very effective organizational group that has really grabbed onto this one day."

Students gathered for marches on Friday to kick off a planned second global school strike for climate action. The latest round of protests, which builds on last weeks marches by millions of children around the world, is planned to roll through Asia and Europe before culminating in a rally in Montreal, Canada, where teenage activist Greta Thunberg is scheduled to speak. Thunberg, who is credited with inspiring the school strikes, this week lambasted world leaders for a lack of climate change policies at the United Nations Climate Action summit in New York.

Trudeau, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May and Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet are all expected to attend.

The NDP's Jagmeet Singh is attending a climate march in Victoria, while Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is not planning to attend a march while campaigning in Vancouver.

Benjamin Shingler covers politics, immigration and social issues for CBC Montreal. Follow him on Twitter @benshingler.

The complaint this month from the child petitioners — who are between eight and 17-years old and represent 12 countries — is directed at five of the 45 countries that have ratified the protocol: Argentina, France, Germany, Brazil and Turkey. It alleges those countries violate children's rights by failing to address the climate crisis.

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

Austin said her efforts were motivated by children's rights violations she witnessed through her work in Asia, Africa and Latin America. She recalled spending three years in Thailand, where she encountered kids who were victims of child labour and trafficking. Many were not getting adequate health care for AIDS and other diseases.

It is a priority for CBC to create a website that is accessible to all Canadians including people with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive challenges.

"It really is remarkable to me now to see young people like Greta and 15 of her peers now using this law to file a complaint against five governments and to seek justice for the failure of their government to protect their safe and healthy childhood," Austin, who is based in Calgary, said in an interview.

TORONTO — Students and protesters will be hitting the streets again across Canada and the world for another round of global climate strikes. Heres what you need to know.

Yes! Sept. 20 was the kick-off for a week of climate activities, with two global climate strikes planned on Sept. 20 and Sept. 27. The UN emergency climate summit was held on Sept. 23, in between the two climate strike dates. The global strikes were inspired by #FridaysForFuture, a movement following Swedish activist Greta Thunbergs call for students to strike.

"As a Canadian who was leading these global efforts, I was dismayed and deeply frustrated that my own government was opposed to the law and to this day has not yet ratified it."

Thousands expected to take part in Queens Park climate strike event

According to Global Climate Strike Net, a website run by that is tracking the different climate strikes across the planet, having more than one strike so close together helps to keep the momentum going.

P.E.I. environmental activist groups, including Extinction Rebellion and P.E.I. Youth 4 Climate, plan a large protest in Charlottetown Friday, the latest in weekly demonstrations in support of Fridays for the Future student strikes by Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg.

There is huge power in sustained action week after week to match the scale of the climate emergency, the website reads.

P.E.I. organizers say the demonstration is planned for Friday, Sept. 27, from noon to 2 p.m. outside Province House in Charlottetown.

The website for the Earth Strike says the day was chosen to commemorate the anniversary of Silent Spring, the book that kick-started the environmentalist movement. Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson, came out on Sept. 27 in 1962, and revealed the adverse side effects that certain pesticides had on the environment.

There are strikes happening coast to coast. A full list can be found by searching on the climate strike map at Global Climate Strike Net. There is also a map on the Fridays for Future website, which says that around 200 strikes, demonstrations, or meetups are happening across Canada on Friday.

The protocol was the brainchild of Calgary child advocate Sara Austin, who spent years working with children around the world in places such as Asia, Africa and Latin America. Austin encountered many children in need, whether it was young labourers in the streets of Bangkok or HIV-positive girls without access to treatment in Africa.

Some of the cites where strikes will be held are Vancouver, Thunder Bay, Ont., Victoria, Winnipeg, Yellowknife, Calgary, Regina, Edmonton, St. Johns, N.L., Halifax and Toronto.

Greta Thunberg Is Reportedly Driving Arnold Schwarzeneggers Car To Montreal

Thunberg will be joining the Montreal march, and will be giving a speech along with other activists. Federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has also said he will join the Montreal rally.

The complaint was filed through the Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which allows children to appeal to the United Nations if a country that has signed onto the protocol doesn’t provide a remedy for a rights violation.

Although most businesses will be unaffected by the strikes, some companies have pledged to respect the call to close.

“It’s encouraging to see that other kids are taking advantage of it and using it for the purpose that it was designed for. It has the potential to reach a decision that will transform the lives of millions of children around the world.”

Mountain Equipment Co-Op (MEC) will be closing its 22 stores across the country until 5 p.m. local time so that staff can participate in rallies.

New Zealand and South Korea children kick off class strikes for climate action

Lush Cosmetics will be closing its 50 shops, manufacturing facilities and halting online shopping in Canada on Friday.

And a spokesperson for Indigo Books & Music said that the home offices in Toronto and Montreal would be allowing employees to attend strikes.

The Toronto District School Board has asked schools not to schedule tests or have assignments due on Sept. 27, so that students academics will not be impacted if they attend the climate strike. (However, they still need to officially get their parents permission to skip class.)

The University of British Columbia is allowing faculty members to cancel classes in support of the climate action, and said students should discuss accommodations with instructors.

The Commission Scolaire de Montreal — the provinces largest school board — has called Friday a pedagogical day, and will be shutting down its schools.

Students should check in with their specific school boards to know what the policy is where they are.

Greta Thunberg leads Montreal climate strike amid aviation emissions talks

The idea is for youth and adults to walk out of their schools and workplaces to show that more needs to be done to counter the effects of climate change.

Nelson school students joined by older protesters in climate strike

What (the climate strikes) can do is demonstrate that people are no longer willing to continue with business as usual, reads the Global Climate Strike website.

At the UNs global summit last Monday, Thunberg said the current plans to tackle the climate crisis do not take it seriously enough, saying that the strictest emission cuts being talked about would only give the world a 50 per cent chance of limiting future warming to another 0.4 degrees Celsuis, which is a global goal.

We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, she admonished world leaders. And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!

New climate models show that if carbon emissions continue unabated, average temperatures could rise 6.5 to 7 degrees Celsius by 2100.

President lauds teen climate activist Greta Thunberg

Scientists say that, by 2050, there could be no sea ice in the Arctic in the summers, meaning devastation for northern communities and northern animals such as polar bears and walruses.

Mosquito-borne illnesses will climb as the planet warms, scientists say, with mosquitoes bringing illnesses rarely seen before in Canada into the north.

A NASA oceanographer says that within the next 80 years, the melting of Greenlands ice could raise the sea level by more than one metre.

Extinction is looming over one million species of plants and animals, according to a UN report put out in May, due to factors such as pollution, overfishing and habitat degradation.

A climate report put out this week says that oceans are becoming more acidic and warmer, glaciers are shrinking, new illnesses are breaking out due to warming waters, and by 2060 it is estimated that coastal floods off British Columbia and the Maritimes that used to occur once a century will be annual events.