Live coverage – 500000 in Montreal climate march led by Greta Thunberg – Montreal Gazette

Live coverage – 500000 in Montreal climate march led by Greta Thunberg - Montreal Gazette
Greta Thunberg meets Trudeau, tells him hes not doing enough to fight climate change
Stay tuned. A team of Montreal Gazette reporters, columnists and photographers will be on the ground all day.

In a speech peppered with French, Greta Thunberg told Montreal marchers that the fight against climate change will not stop until world leaders take the problem seriously.

“We’re at least 500,000 here today – you should be very proud of yourself,” Thunberg said to cheers.

"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. 

How Greta Thunberg became the face of climate activism around the world

“We have done this together and I can’t thank you enough for being here. It’s just incredible to be united in such a way for a common cause. It just feels great, doesn’t it?”

"Mr. Trudeau promised really clearly in 2015 that he would not build the Trans Mountain, that he would oppose it. And then once he got into office, not only did he break that promise, he bought the pipeline then approved its expansion the day after he declared a climate emergency," he said.

“You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. Sweden is also allegedly a climate leader,” she said.

The tree planting initiative would be part of a broader $3 billion, 10-year fund to support efforts across the country to better manage, conserve, and restore forests, grasslands, agricultural lands, wetlands and coastal areas that help store and take carbon pollution out of the air.

“In both cases it means absolutely nothing. In both cases, it’s just empty words. We’ve told (elected officials) to unite behind the science but they didn’t listen.”

"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.

“Today we are millions striking and marching and we will keep doing it until they listen,” Thunberg said. “It should not be up to us, but somebody needs to do it.This is an emergency and we will not be bystanders.

"Andrew Scheer is choosing to hide today instead of participating in climate marches," he said. "But it's no surprise he's not showing up for the climate march because he's not showing up for the fight against climate change."

“Some would say we are wasting lesson time, we say we are changing the world so that when we are older we will be able to look our children in the eyes and say we did everything that we could.

Trudeau had a large security detail surrounding him and his family as they joined the crowds on the streets of Montreal for the climate rally. Some in the crowd chanted slogans attacking Trudeau's embrace of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

“We have been told so many times that there is no point in doing this, that we can’t have an impact and make a difference.  But I think we have proven that to be wrong by now. We are the change and change is coming.

The Gazette’s Jason Magder is near the stage, providing a live feed of speeches. Apologies if it breaks up; the network is spotty due to the number of people at the march.

They came from far and wide to lend their voices to the cause and march for awareness of a climate crisis they feel powerless to prevent.

“When we finally realize what’s happening, it will be too late,” said Léona Dugas-Paquet, 10, who was marching with her mother. “We’re very concerned because maybe when it’s too late to save the planet, we’ll still be around and that would be tragic.”

"I try not to focus on the individuals and rather focus on the whole picture because … of course it's easier to just blame someone and of course he has a lot of responsibility … and he, of course, is not doing enough.

Dugas-Paquet said she’s inspired by 16-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg, who led the march and inspired a global movement. She joined the climate strike by joining the rally instead of going to class.

In an interview with CBC Montreal's Daybreak Friday, May said voters need to elect a party that is up to the challenge and ready with a concrete plan to reduce emissions and create jobs in the growing green economy.

“She’s really courageous to do what she’s doing,” Dugas-Paquet said. “You can say she’s had a good influence.”

"I guess they must feel like their world view or their interests, or whatever it is, is threatened by us. And we should take as a compliment that we are having so much impact that people want to silence us."

There is no official crowd count but organizers are calling today’s event historic, Jesse Feith reports.

“Earlier we spoke of the largest environmental march, but we can now forget environmental – it’s the largest march of any kind in Quebec history,” an organizer just told the crowd near the stage at the end of the march.

"But we need to, because this is such a huge problem. This is a system that is wrong. So my message to all the politicians is the same — to just listen to the science and act on the science."

Later, the throng cheered when it was told that “close to half a million” people were taking part.

It may seem like an intangible step in the face of overwhelming scientific reports about the state of the planet, but joining a movement amplifies the collective voice of those demanding change. Thunberg inspired the Fridays for Future movement which encourages students to strike and miss school in order to demand that their concerns be heard – and its working. Global climate strikes have had hundreds of thousands in attendance and wall-to-wall media coverage. Thunberg and other young activists have brought climate change to the forefront of the news cycle, and have amped up the pressure on world leaders to do their part.

Not only the largest march in history of Quebec, but the largest gathering for the climate of the whole week, an organizer said.

The UNs environmental body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report that says if more of the global population shifted towards a plant-based diet and reduced their intake of red meat; it could significant assist in the fight against climate change. Another report in the British medical journal The Lancet, says that eating meat has dire consequences for the planet, and recommends a plant-based diet with small occasional allowances for meat, dairy and sugar.

500000 in Montréal. Change is coming!! #ClimateStrike #FridayForFuture #klimatstrejk pic.twitter.com/3NtyNk3dvh

About 1 kilometre North of the stage… 90 minutes after marchers first reached it. #climatestrikecanada pic.twitter.com/5SztaMsoot

View from corner of Robert-Bourassa and de la Gauchetiere as marchers stream in. pic.twitter.com/vkqy0VPEFB

The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimated that nine per cent of the total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2017 stemmed from agriculture, and livestock accounted for roughly four per cent of that. Thunberg and her entire family went vegan in order to cut down on their carbon footprint.

The march arrived at the stage about an hour ago and tens of thousands are still streaming in. pic.twitter.com/0s30pv1MVR

To give you an idea: this is 500 meters from the state and its DENSE. #ClimateAction montreal pic.twitter.com/Y3HEeYT2ix

Although Thunberg now spends the majority of her time addressing worlds leaders and thousands of people participating in mass climate strikes all over the world, within her powerful speeches are four simple steps that anyone and everyone can do to help save the planet.

Participants following the Greta Thunberg-led Montreal climate march overflow Parc Ave. heading south from Mount Royal in Montreal on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. John Kenney / Montreal Gazette

An enthusiastic show of support from a balcony overlooking a throng of people joining the Greta Thunberg-led climate march along Parc Ave. in Montreal on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette

The 10-year-old from Cnwch Coch, near Aberystwyth, has been encouraging her family to make simple changes at home to save resources.

And, these are by Gazette reporters T’Cha Dunlevy and Chris Curtis, who are near the end of the march. Music and speeches are on tap.

Climate change activist Greta Thunberg has been addressing world leaders at the United Nations this week.

Kids running to get a spot in front of the stage. We have reached our destination, corner Robert-Bourassa and Wellington. pic.twitter.com/UaJA0nsEly

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Barr Brothers, Patrick Watson And Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry and Tim Kingsbury performing at the #ClimateStrike: pic.twitter.com/HVzBDAe12c

One marcher shows off his creativity and stilt skills at the #climatestrikecanada event in Montreal pic.twitter.com/pxr1iprHUn

Citing a U.N.-backed report released last year, demonstrators are demanding governments implement measures to prevent global temperatures from rising more than 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, which scientists warn could result in dire consequences for human life and the planet.

It dawns on me that, with the size of this crowd, most wont even see the stage or here the speeches at Montreals climate march. pic.twitter.com/VUjS4wW39r

The Fridays for Future movement that began as a lone demonstration by Swedish teen Greta Thunberg just over a year ago has mushroomed, with millions of students taking to the streets of cities like New York and attracting attention in developing nations across Africa.

Carol Dillon is here from Perth, Ont. with her daughter and granddaughter and says shes more energized about the environmental movement than she ever has been. There needs to be more people our age out here. pic.twitter.com/ifRiHj5msB

In Nigerias capital Abuja, Oladosu Adenike marked her 46th consecutive strike Friday. The activist posted images on Twitter of students dressed in blue school uniforms carrying banners with messages, “Climate change is real” and “We dont have time.”

Some youthful scamps climbed up a pillar on University Street to get a sense of the enormity of the thing. And possibly get a good Twitter/Insta/Snapchat shot in there. pic.twitter.com/Z0ExILAvIC

Some of the first protests began in New Zealand, where Thunberg said organizers estimated 170,000 people marched across the country. There were also marches in cities in Italy, Finland, Nigeria, Austria and India, among other countries.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was targeted by an anti-pipeline protester at a stop in Montreal on Friday.

Later, during the march, a protester attempted to throw an egg at Trudeau on Sherbrooke St., near Park Ave., Gazette colleague Frédéric Tomesco reports. Police handcuffed the man and took him away.

Protestor interrupts Trudeau speech, calls him a "climate criminal", is hauled off by RCMP. #elxn43 pic.twitter.com/zeasHNPXUB

In Lausanne, Switzerland, where hundreds of climate strike organizers gathered in August planning for this weeks events, thousands of people marched through the city, according to local reports.

Protesters fill Park Ave at the start of the big climate march in Montreal Friday September 27, 2019. John Mahoney / Montreal Gazette

Greta Thunberg joins Indigenous youth at the head of the big climate march in Montreal Friday September 27, 2019. John Mahoney / Montreal Gazette

Fridays protest followed a week of climate talks at the U.N. in New York, which included a scathing speech by Thunberg to world leaders reprimanding them for inaction.

A boy holds up a sign during big climate march in Montreal Friday September 27, 2019. John Mahoney / Montreal Gazette

Thousands more were expected to take to the streets of Helsinki, where local media reported that the citys schools would allow students to participate.

School strike. Week 58Montréal. #ClimateStrike #FridaysForFuture #schoolstrike4climate pic.twitter.com/lbnFapwdkG

Linda Givetash is a reporter based in London. She previously worked for The Canadian Press in Vancouver and Nation Media in Uganda. 

Greta Thunberg joins Indigenous youth at the head of the big climate march in Montreal Friday September 27, 2019.   John Mahoney /Montreal Gazette

A boy holds up a sign during big climate march in Montreal Friday September 27, 2019.   John Mahoney /Montreal Gazette

An enthusiastic show of support from a balcony overlooking a throng of people joining the Greta Thunberg-led climate march along Parc Ave. in Montreal Sept. 27, 2019.   Dave Sidaway /Montreal Gazette

Participants following the Greta Thunberg-led Montreal climate march overflow Parc Ave. heading south from Mount Royal Sept. 27, 2019.   John Kenney /Montreal Gazette

Heidi Bangalina carries sign to big climate march in Montreal Friday September 27, 2019.   John Mahoney /Montreal Gazette

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Swedish climate change teen activist Greta Thunberg before a climate strike march in Montreal, Quebec, Canada September 27, 2019.   ANDREJ IVANOV /REUTERS

Protesters fill Park Ave at the start of the big climate march in Montreal Friday September 27, 2019.   John Mahoney /Montreal Gazette

Greta Thunberg looks at the vest presented to her by Perry Bellegarde, Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, at press conference prior to big climate march in Montreal Sept. 27, 2019.   John Mahoney /Montreal Gazette

Activist Greta Thunberg speaks at press conference prior to big climate march in Montreal Sept. 27, 2019.   John Mahoney /Montreal Gazette

Activist Greta Thunberg speaks at press conference prior to big climate march in Montreal on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019.   John Mahoney /Montreal Gazette

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde presents a gift to climate change teen activist Greta Thunberg in Montreal, Quebec, Canada September 27, 2019.   ANDREJ IVANOV /REUTERS

MONTREAL, CANADA: David Suzuki meets with climate change teen activist Greta Thunberg before joining a climate strike march in Montreal, Sept. 27, 2019.   ANDREJ IVANOV /REUTERS

Climate change teen activist Greta Thunberg holds a gift received during a talk before joining a climate strike march in Montreal, Quebec, Canada September 27, 2019.   ANDREJ IVANOV /REUTERS

Climate change teen activist Greta Thunberg speaks before joining a climate strike march in Montreal, Quebec, Canada September 27, 2019.   ANDREJ IVANOV /REUTERS

Protesters fill Robert-Bourassa Blvd. at the end of the climate march in Montreal on Friday Sept. 27, 2019.   John Mahoney /Montreal Gazette

KOLKATA, INDIA: Students take part in a "Fridays for Future" march calling for urgent measures to combat climate change Sept. 27, 2019.   RANITA ROY /REUTERS

TURIN, ITALY: Demonstrators pack a street as they march during the Global Climate Strike organized by the Fridays for Future movement in Turin, Italy Sept. 27, 2019.   SARA CAPELLARO /via REUTERS

MONTREAL, CANADA: David Suzuki meets with climate change teen activist Greta Thunberg before joining a climate strike march in Montreal, Sept. 27, 2019.   ANDREJ IVANOV /REUTERS

Climate change teen activist Greta Thunberg speaks before joining a climate strike march in Montreal, Quebec, Canada September 27, 2019.   ANDREJ IVANOV /REUTERS

LISBON, PORTUGAL: People hold a placard during a protest to demand action on climate change Sept. 27, 2019.   RAFAEL MARCHANTE /REUTERS

Looking%20up%20Parc%20Ave.%20#climatemarch%20in%20Montreal.%20That%5Cu2019s%20a%20big%20crowd%20waiting%20to%20come%20down%20from%20Mount%20Royal.%20pic.twitter.com%5C/xoht0Wh1m6%E2%80%94%20Monique%20Beaudin%20(@moniquebeaudin)%20September%2027,%202019%5Cn%5Cn%22,%22type%22:%22oembed%22,%22channels%22:%5B%22desktop%22,%22tablet%22,%22phone%22%5D%7D“>And we're off! With Greta and Indigenous groups leading the way. #ClimateMarch pic.twitter.com/0egq3bTidb

Looking up Parc Ave. #climatemarch in Montreal. Thats a big crowd waiting to come down from Mount Royal. pic.twitter.com/xoht0Wh1m6

Mon dieu. Sur ma rue. Ils se rendent sur le Mont-Royal. Jamais vu ça. #MarchePourLeClimat pic.twitter.com/GZRGjl8riS

Coin Sherbrooke et Parc… les manifestants continuent daffluer par milliers en direction du Parc Jeanne-Mance où commencera la marche #27septembre #Montréal pic.twitter.com/ELQbjSOb1t

David Suzuki on Greta Thunberg:Shes punctured the ceiling. Shes an exceptional person and the right person at the right time.#MarchePourLeClimat #ClimateStrike #FridaysForFuture #Montreal pic.twitter.com/9tgJ0uDxaj

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he has thanked Greta Thunberg for mobilizing so many people, particularly young people, around climate change.

The Liberal leader was asked about his meeting with the 16-year-old activist during a news conference in Montreal today.

Trudeau – who has faced criticism for his governments purchase of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline project – says he agrees with Thunberg that Ottawa needs to do more for the environment.

Hes made a series of announcements this week aimed at reducing emissions, protecting oceans and encouraging conservation.

Trudeau is promising more climate action but has also had to defend his decision to buy and expand a major oil pipeline in western Canada.

In my wonderful conversation with Greta this morning, we talked directly about the need to do more, much more. I thanked her for the amount of people that her call to action has mobilized, he told reporters after promising to plant 2 billion trees if re-elected.

Canadas Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Swedish climate change teen activist Greta Thunberg before a climate strike march in Montreal, Quebec, Canada September 27, 2019. ANDREJ IVANOV / REUTERS

 A qui la rue? A nous la rue!  #montreal #montreal4climate #marcheclimat #climatestrike pic.twitter.com/Beww4ofqXh

Crowd is building ahead of #ClimateStrike march, which gets underway around noon at this spot. #FridaysForFuture pic.twitter.com/lqyyzbsR4Y

Concordia University students marching on Sherbrooke St., to join the #climatestrikecanada pic.twitter.com/xprjiy9EKu

Colourful superheroes make their appearance #climatestrikecanada #FridaysForFuture #Strike4Climate pic.twitter.com/yBB4Eq9uL3

Activist Greta Thunberg speaks at press conference prior to big climate march in Montreal Sept. 27, 2019. John Mahoney / Montreal Gazette

“My message to all the politicians around the world is the same, just listen and act on the current most available science. I try not to focus so much on individuals and rather focus on the whole picture because … of course it’s easier just to blame someone. And of course (Trudeau) has a lot of responsibility and he’s obviously not doing enough. Because this is a system that is wrong. My message to all the politicians is the same, just listen to the science, act on the science.”

“Indigenous people have for centuries and millenniums protected the local environment and of course we need to because they are often the ones who are being,  who are at the front line, so we need to be able to hear their voices. So that’s why I think it’s so important that indigenous people lead this fight.”

“Why I decided to go to Montreal, because I was planning on where to go and of course, I want to go to Canada as well and I was invited to attend the march in Montreal. I thought why not? And I decided to go there because I think it’s fun to visit lots of different places. Because this is not just one country, this is everyone. Also because I know Canada is striking on the 27th and the U.S. is striking on the 20th so that’s why I sort of changed countries because diff countries strike on different dates.

“From Canada I have already seen today that the strikes have been very big and I think and I hope the rest of the strikes of Canada will be very big as well. I know you have elections now, and that is always a very busy time when I really want to understand what is going on. I expect that you as well as other countries take your responsibility and do your part from a global perspective.”

Does she have a theory about why some political leaders, including U.S. President Donald Trump, mock her?

“Of course I don’t know. I don’t understand why grownups would choose to mock children and teenagers for just communicating and acting on the science when they could do something good instead. I guess they must feel like their world view or their interests or whatever it is, is threatened by and we should take that as a compliment that we are having so much impact that people want to silence us, we’ve become too loud for people to handle, so they want to silence us. So we should also take that as a compliment.”

Greta Thunberg addresses the press conference. The Gazette Facebook page is covering Thunberg’s press conference live.

“It’s great to be here with you all in Canada. I’m looking very much forward to today. So today there’s another global climate strike and it is very exciting to be see the pictures and the videos from all around then world and to hear from everyone who has been organizing the local strikes.

“The strikes have been very successful today. I think it’s too early yet to have any official numbers but I guess we will have to see how many turned out.

“I’m very excited to be here and it’s going to be very much fun today and to once again stand together, people from all around the world, for one common cause, that is very empowering. It is very moving to see everyone, everyone who is so passionate to march and strike, people of all ages, all generations.

La jeune militante @GretaThunberg devant les médias #rcmtl #27septembre #montreal #GretaThurnberg pic.twitter.com/J46ZjoMmOG

It was unclear if Greta Thunberg was going to take part in this morning’s press conference by march organizers. But they now confirm she will indeed be there. She’ll make a statement and answer a few questions.

One of the organizers confirmed a report that Thunberg arrived in Montreal in an electric car borrowed from Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Were all here for the same reason: We are sick and tired. Things must change. Our voices as youth will not stop. We will be here, whether you like it or not, to make sure you hear our voices. – Cédric Gray-Lehoux#MarchePourLeClimat #ClimateStrike #FridaysForFuture pic.twitter.com/Uq0kv1U04Y

François Geoffroy, spokesperson La Planète S’invite au Parlement (LPSP), opened the press conference.

“Nine months ago we launched a call, not just to march but to strike for the climate,” Geoffroy said. “In 40 years, no government has presented a credible transition program. Our trust is running out, and so is our patience.”

Ève Grenier Houde, from Fridays for Future, said: “We’re the ones who will live the worst case scenarios predicted by science. Our resources are limited. We need support from our parents, teachers and elected officials.”

She had a plea for Montreal’s mayor, Quebec’s premier and Canada’s prime minister: “Madame Plante, Mr. Legault and Mr. Trudeau, it’s your responsibility to ensure our future.”

Dominic Champagne, spokesperson for the Pacte pour la transition: “The situation has not gotten any better since Earth Day in 2012. It’s only gotten worse. But this movement will continue to grow until we reach a tipping point.”

You can watch the press conference live on the Facebook page of La Planète s’invite au Parlement.

Unlike politicians such as Valérie Plante, Justin Trudeau, Yves-François Blanchet and Elizabeth May, Quebec Premier François Legault decided not to participate in today’s march, instead sending his environment minister, Benoit Charette.

But he posted a message on Facebook this morning, telling Quebec’s youth that he hears their plea for action.

In reads, in part: Do not be afraid of your beliefs and be proud of your passion. It is with great hope that I watch you walk for our future. And it is with a helping hand that I propose to help us build a more prosperous, greener and therefore more proud Quebec.

A poll out this week indicated that climate change is tied with health care as the number one issue among Quebec voters.

Picture-perfect weather, free transit and Bixi bikes, tens of thousands of students and workers taking the day off to join, growing fears about the impact of climate change, and the presence of prominent Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.

You can see why some are expecting the youth-led march to be huge — even bigger than the one on March 15, when 150,000 university, CEGEP, high-school and primary students took over the city’s streets. Some are predicting double that number will show up today. It could be the biggest ever climate event in Canada.

Noon. Four-kilometre march starts at the George-Étienne-Cartier-Monument on Park Ave. It is to end at Wellington St., near Nazareth St.

6 p.m. At public event, Plante gives Thunberg keys to the city. A photo op is planned but Thunberg is not scheduled to speak.

Stay tuned. A team of Montreal Gazette reporters, columnists and photographers will be on the ground all day. Come back often; this post will be updated throughout the day.

Montreal, Canada! See you tomorrow at the strike! #climatestrike #fridaysforfuture pic.twitter.com/7TeqfEp8TK

Montréal, on se voit ce midi au pied du mont Royal! #MarchePourLeClimat #ClimateStrike #FridaysForFuture #polmtl pic.twitter.com/VljpeqtAh9

Salut Montréal! Pour la grève du climat d'aujourd'hui, les transports en commun et les vélos partagés sont gratuits! Sans frais! Faites partie de l'avenir! (crédit photo de ma soeur) #VendredisPourLeFutur#FridaysForFuture #ClimateChange #ChangementClimatique #Montreal ⚜️🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/qwIV0H4jPM

The map below, from the STM, shows the start/end points of the march, as well as the area affected by road closures and bus detours.