Get a unique view inside (and above) Montreals half-million climate march – CBC.ca

Get a unique view inside (and above) Montreal\s half-million climate march - CBC.ca
Canadians take to streets calling for action on climate change
An estimated 500,000 people came out for Friday's climate march in Montreal to take part in a global day of action.

"We are not in school today. You are not at work today. Because this is an emergency and we will not be bystanders. Some would say, we are wasting lesson time. We say we are changing the world," said Thunberg. 

Trudeau has aligned himself with Thunberg on the campaign trail, praising the activism of young people in general. He has made a series of announcements this week aimed at reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, protecting oceans and habitat and encouraging conservation while simultaneously branding Scheer as a climate-change laggard.

Trudeau, Scheer navigate climate marches that dominate federal campaign

"So that when we are older, we will be able to look our children in the eyes and say that we did everything we could back then. Because that is our moral duty and we will never stop doing that."

Video: PROOF: Greta Thunberg is “mentally ill,” being “weaponized” | Ezra Levant

Many of the participants on Friday were young people and students who have been taking part in the climate strikes.

Montreal police were on hand to accompany the march which went smoothly for the most part. There was one arrest.

Along with Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and environmentalist David Suzuki were also in attendance at the march.

"Its obviously Gretas choice who she wants to meet with, but its really clear that Mr. Trudeau promised really clearly in 2015 that he would not build the Trans Mountain, that he would oppose it," Singh said during an announcement on coastal protection.

Hundreds of thousands join Canada climate strikes

Following the event, Plante gave Thunberg the key to the city and invited her to sign the golden book.

Thunberg said that she hopes people will continue striking and putting pressure on their governments until world leaders agree to take immediate action.

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Trump tried to throw shade on Thunberg following her impassioned speech to the United Nations earlier this week, describing the activist as a "happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future." In response, Thunberg trolled Trump by sarcastically adding Trump's description of her to her Twitter profile.

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Waves of Canadians led by global climate change fighter Greta Thunberg marched the countrys streets Friday to demand leaders take action to put a halt to rising temperatures.

"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.

Large crowds filled the avenues in Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa while smaller boisterous crowds gathered in at least 85 other communities from Victoria to St. Johns to Inuvik. The demonstrations capped off a week in which millions of children and young people took to the streets around the world and Ms. Thunberg drew the ire of Donald Trump with her angry speech to the United Nations, denouncing the inaction of world leaders such as the U.S. President.

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 Montreal, Indigenous teenagers and Ms. Thunberg arrived about 20 minutes before the last stragglers left the starting point of the citys walk. Marchers spilled into side streets along the planned route, taking over much of the downtown. The 4.4-kilometre continuous stream of humanity defied precise counting, but the citys emergency services estimated 315,000 people were there.

"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.

Video: We will never be able to reverse

You should be proud of yourselves, we have done this together, Ms. Thunberg told the massive crowd. Millions of people are marching around the world. Its incredible to be united in such a way.

But seeing how far 16-year-old Thunberg has come in only the last year is even more awe-inspiring. Before todays march, she met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and gave an unprepared speech in front of hundreds of thousands of people. She has spoken at the United Nations Climate Summit, has been featured on Time magazine, she has upset and intimidated leaders around the world, including the President of the United States. 

Video: We will never be able to reverse

Climate change protesters to rally at London city hall Friday afternoon

Ms. Thunberg took the stage to call on leaders to take action before global heating can no longer be restrained. You are not in school today. You are not at work today because this is an emergency, she told the crowd. We will not be bystanders.

Her message resonated among the climate strikers. We need to find a more respectful way of living, said Jessica Lacroix, a student who marched in Montreal but hails from the Cree community of Nemiscau near James Bay in Northern Quebec. Up North we have some serious problems with the environment. With mining, the water is getting contaminated, the land is getting contaminated. We cant go on this way.

A photo tweet of todays Montreal march, posted by Thunberg herself, captures the astounding distance she has travelled and the inspiration she brings on a global scale. 

In Halifax, Julia Sampson was among 10,000 people who walked through the streets to protest the absence of strong climate change measures amid rising sea levels and grim flood forecasts for her city. The climate crisis is threatening my future, and I want to live, said the high-school student. In Vancouver, a preschooler carried a sign: This cannot wait until I am bigger.

This is all from one girl who only a year ago sat alone on a sidewalk in Sweden with only a sign “Skolstrejk för klimatet” (school strike for the climate) beside her.

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The network of students and activists who organized the march issued demands: transition to renewable energy, legally enshrine the right to a healthy environment, adopt the UN declaration on Indigenous rights and protect the poor from climate change.

The comments are mostly an outpouring of support and gratitude. Though one confused soul wrote, “100% not Montreal lmao. They speak English there. But okay….”

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Montreal organizer Cedric Gray-Lehoux, an Indigenous youth representative, said politicians such as Justin Trudeau and Jagmeet Singh who showed up at climate marches will be expected to deliver plans to meet greenhouse gas emission targets. We will be here waiting to see if you deliver, whether you like it or not, he said.

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.

The Liberal Leader joined the Montreal march for a short time as he campaigned for re-election Oct. 21. The reception was hostile as protesters marched near him yelling No pipeline and heckled him for his history of wearing brownface and blackface before he entered politics. Mr. Trudeaus security detail wrestled to the ground one man who approached the Prime Minister in one of the only incidents on a peaceful day. Mr. Trudeau put his arm around his son, Xavier, who was visibly upset by the encounter.

Students, activists and demonstrators demonstrate during a worldwide climate strike against governmental inaction towards climate breakdown and environmental pollution in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Earlier, Mr. Trudeau met Ms. Thunberg for 15 minutes before she convened with Montreal environmental movement leaders. Ms. Thunberg scolded Mr. Trudeau on social media in June for approving the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, but she was more conciliatory in the meeting, saying climate change is the responsibility of more than one leader. But during her speech, she made it clear she views Canada as a laggard. She noted both Canada and her homeland of Sweden have an image as climate leaders. In both cases, it means nothing, she said. In both cases, its just empty words.

A man with a gas mask stands near the students holding placards as they take part in the Global Climate Strike in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Canadian Youth Gather En Masse Across Canada to Demand Drastic Climate Action

Mr. Singh, the NDP Leader, attended a climate protest in Victoria while Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer opted to stay away from the climate strike, making an infrastructure announcement in Coquitlam, B.C., instead.

Thousands participate in the Climate March in Montreal, Quebec, September 27, 2019. (Christinne Muschi /The Globe and Mail)

Many signs at the protests noted his absence and criticized his climate change plan. Denying climate change is Scheer lunacy, one in Toronto said.

While politicians faced some ire, the atmosphere in the marches from coast to coast was festive and orderly. Montreal has a litter problem at the cleanest of times, but the protesters made their route spotless, picking up trash.

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Many parents brought very young children who wore face paint and carried signs. I tell them the importance of getting involved, of taking care of our planet, our community, said Stéphanie Hétu, who was flanked by her children, Alice, 5, and Loïc, 8.

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