Penticton joined 50 cities across Canada Wednesday (Sept. 8) when more than 30 people took part in the march for climate action.
Starting at the Penticton Library, people of all ages marched down Main Street with signs, drums, shakers and tambourines, calling on all levels of government to take immediate action on climate change.
A couple of the common chants were “What do we want? Climate action! When do we want it? Now!,” and “System change not climate change!”
Upon arrival at Gyro Park, march leader Lori Goldman gave a speech to the crowd of still-growing protesters. Joining her were two younger Pentictonites and mayor John Vassilaki.
“We’re in an election that was called after a summer where most of Canada was either on fire, clogged with smoke, flooding or facing some other critical climate impact,” Goldman said, “It’s time for politicians to propose solutions that actually meet the scale of the crisis.”
Richard Cannings, Penticton’s incumbent NDP candidate, joined in the march as well, but was unable to provide comment due to the ongoing election.
Goldman continued, saying that locally elected officials are having a tougher time “[delivering] on their mandate to foster social, environmental and economic well-being,” without the federal government “carrying their weight.”
She also nailed home a major talking point of the protests, which was creating green jobs and including a Just Transition.
Many people showed support while walking or driving by the march with honking, clapping and shouting in support.
Both the city and First Things First Okanagan were at Gyro Park when the rally arrived, providing information about the city’s new Community Climate Action Plan.
Penticton’s greenhouse gas emissions increased 22 per cent since 2011, according to a climate study. The majority of that increase was due to motor vehicles.
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