As thousands of people in Montreal plan to take to the streets for the climate march next week, they say they want Quebec to do more for the environment.
Amid criticism, the province’s environment minister announced on Thursday that Laval University in Quebec City will hold an international youth summit on climate action this summer. He’s also telling Quebecers to be patient because there are more announcements on the way.
Environment Minister Benoit Charette said the government will provide more than $300,000 for the event, which will welcome 300 students from around the world.
“It provides Quebec with the opportunity to showcase its leadership,” said Sophie D’Amours, rector of Laval University.
However, the Quebec government has been criticized for its lack of leadership when it comes to tackling climate change. After receiving criticism earlier this week for not participating, Charette confirmed he will march after all alongside protesters in Montreal in the Sept. 27 strike for the environment.
Some opposition MNAs commended the minister for his upcoming attendance.
“It’s better than the opposite, it’s better that he’s in the streets, with the generation that is mobilizing on climate change,” said Québec Solidaire house leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.
Pascal Bérubé, the interim leader for the Parti Québécois, also welcomed Charette’s change of heart.
“It’s not about the political parties, it’s not about the government, it’s about being together for ecology,” he said.
“And I think Minister Charette being there is a good thing.”
However, many say what the Coalition Avenir Québec government is offering is not enough. Opposition parties are continuing to call on the provincial government to do more in the fight against climate change.
“I understand the frustration of all Quebecers, why they’re going on strike on Sept. 27, because the government of the CAQ has nothing to offer and they need to make their voices louder in the streets,” said Liberal MNA Marwah Rizqy.
Charette said the province is working on a climate change action plan and it will be released early next year.
“We’ll be able to reassure those who are worried about the concerns of the government of Quebec about environment,” he said.