Environment featured

Photo view: Canada on Fire rally in Halifax

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KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Yesterday well over 100 people gathered at the Grand Parade in front of Halifax City Hall to remind politicians that climate change is very much on their mind and that they demand political action.

As climate rallies go Halifax has certainly seen larger ones. However, when the rally is part of a Canada-wide action day, and with no signs that the climate crisis is abating, you’d think it merits a bit of media attention. 

Kim Fry. Photo Robert Devet

“I’ve been very disappointed in the media for not making the climate emergency more of a central issue. It is hardly talked about. I don’t hear pundits talking about it. I don’t hear journalists asking follow-up questions to our candidates and our leaders about it,” said For our Kids organizer Kim Fry, who recently arrived in Nova Scotia.

Noreem Mabiza. Photo Robert Devet

Noreen Mabiza of the Ecology Action Centre: Our world is on fire. The smoke has hardly cleared from the unprecedented wildfires in Western Canada, the impacts of climate change are upon us. Nova Scotia faces one of the highest sea level rises in Canada, bringing with it danger to our communities, destruction of ecosystems and impacts on businesses big and small. The Ecology Action Centre is a member of the Offshore Alliance. Together, we call for federal parties to commit to ending all subsidies and support for oil and gas exploration and development in Nova Scotian waters and ensure a just transition for all workers.

What a just transition means is the cost of phasing out fossil fields cannot be unfairly borne by the workers, and the benefits of a clean economy should be shared by all. Solutions should be found by centering the voices of workers and addressing the inequities faced in many communities. People from Indigenous and Black communities, women, immigrants and other underrepresented groups need to be brought into the conversation. 

Lilian Hougan-Veenema. Photo Robert Devet

Lilian Hougan-Veenema of the school strike team:The 2019 election was the first time I felt personally invested in politics, specifically because of the mass climate movements that I was a part of. For the first time in my life, it felt like politics and political change were accessible to me. I was not alone. Many of my classmates, who at one time weren’t interested in politics, suddenly cared about the climate crisis, and completely grasped the gravity of the situation. You could feel a sense of hope and excitement among youth about climate activism. And this hope manifested itself in real political action, including the strike in 2019, which I believe was the largest in Nova scotian history. 

But as we watch climate concerns slowly disappear from the political and media narratives, and governments again and again choose the well being of corporations over the well being of the people, hope and passion among young people also disappears. Therefore, it is vitally important that the climate crisis is a major topic of debates coming up, and that politicians are questioned at every single level of this campaign. 

I know that my peers care deeply about the environment, but they need to see it talked about they need to see politician discussing about their climate change platforms, they need to see the climate crisis covered in the media and they need to see adults in their life show that they care, so they can be inspired to fight for what they believe in.

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