The gap between science and policy can no longer be ignored, Jane Kilthei says, and now, just before voters head to the polls, is the time to act. Kilthei and others are organizing a rally at Duncan City Square on Wednesday, Sept. 8 to draw attention to the climate emergency and the urgent need for scaled-up federal climate action.
“There’s a huge gap between what science says is required and the policy and budgetary commitments we’ve seen from government so far,” Kilthei said. “It’s long past time for Canada to invest in effective nation-wide climate action at a scale we’ve not yet seen. This includes putting an end to fossil fuel subsidies and expansion, including existing projects like the TMX, and investing in a just transition beyond fossil fuels.”
The rally comes just ahead of the federal leaders’ debates and is one of many non-partisan events organized by 350.org across Canada. The local event is being hosted by the Cowichan Climate Hub, a collaboration of local social benefit and environmental groups, faith groups, farmers, small businesses, schools, labor groups and others concerned about the climate emergency. The goal is to foster community awareness and engage in “constructive conversations to achieve solutions-focused climate action so no one is left behind.”
With extreme heat, loss of life, devastating wildfires, extreme drought, and a smoke-covered province, now is the time, organizers say, to face the “code red” moment of climate change.
“Here in the middle of a federal election, with voters hitting the ballot box between Sept. 11 and 20, all candidates need to hear this message,” organizers said.
Adrienne Brown from Chemainus Climate Solutions said, “No matter who forms government, we need our federal leaders to recognize we’re in a climate emergency, and make the investments and take the concerted action needed now. This rally is a chance to lift up climate as a critical election issue that all parties must respond to.”
Masks and social distancing are requested for the safety and comfort of participants. Signs about federal climate actions are welcomed but no names of political parties, candidates, or leaders as it’s intended to be a non-partisan event.