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Liberal, Green party leaders to take part in Montreal climate change march

WATCH: Commuters beware, getting around Montreal on Friday will be pretty difficult. That's because tens of thousands of people are expected to descend on the city for the climate march. As Amanda Jelowicki explains, public transit and walking will be the best ways to navigate the city.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Green party Leader Elizabeth May will be in Montreal on Friday to take part in a climate change march alongside Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has also confirmed he will be at a climate change march in Victoria, B.C.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer will not be taking part in “any climate event,” according to a party spokesperson.

READ MORE: Greta Thunberg to receive key to city after Montreal climate march

The Montreal rally, which is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of protesters, will start at the George-Étienne Cartier statue in Mount-Royal Park at 12 p.m.

Montreal police say traffic will be difficult in the area between Berri, Peel, St-Joseph and de la Commune Streets.

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The protest is expected to end at the base of the Bonaventure Expressway.

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Dawson students want to do more to counter climate change
Dawson students want to do more to counter climate change

Police would not divulge details on the force’s strategy for the march nor the number of officers that will be on hand during the demonstration.

However, the force noted that security will be the responsibility of the event’s organizers and that officers will only be on hand to intervene if needed.

READ MORE: ‘Best way to fight climate change is to go to school,’ Quebec education minister tells students taking part in climate march

Several educational institutions have already announced they will be cancelling classes to allow students to attend the march.

Concordia University said it will be cancelling classes on Friday afternoon. McGill University will not be cancelling classes.

Dawson College, Cégep du Vieux Montréal and John Abbott College are among the CEGEPs that are cancelling classes for the day to allow students to participate in the rally. Some CEGEP teachers unions have also voted to strike that day.

READ MORE: Quebec’s largest school board takes the lead and cancels classes for Sept. 27 climate march

The province’s largest school board, the Commission scolaire de Montréal (CSDM), will also be cancelling classes for its elementary and high school students and turning Friday into a pedagogical (PED) day.

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Other school boards, including the English Montreal School Board and the Commission scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys, will not be following in the CSDM’s footsteps, saying it will be business as usual in their classrooms.

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The Lester B. Pearson School Board noted that Sept. 27 was already a designated PED day for its elementary and high school students.

In response to the mass cancellation of classes, Quebec Education Minister Jean-François Roberge insisted the best way for students to fight the climate crisis is to simply stay in school on Sept. 27.

READ MORE: Greta Thunberg invited to Montreal’s climate march

“The best way to fight climate change is to go to school. Of course, the solutions are in the school, but in Quebec, we have the right to express ourselves to go in the street and say what we want to say,” he said Wednesday.

“It’s a free country. It’s a free province and it will stay that way.”

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Public transit across Greater Montreal will be free on Friday as a show of support for the climate march.

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WATCH: Quebecers want government to do more to save the environment

Quebecers want government to do more to save the environment
Quebecers want government to do more to save the environment

“We will be waiting for you by our sides for the future of the planet,” Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante announced.

After the march, Thunberg, a prominent voice in the fight against the climate crisis, has been invited to city hall to receive a key to the city from the mayor.

READ MORE: Greta Thunberg to receive key to city after Montreal climate march

There are no plans for the 16-year-old to meet with Quebec Premier François Legault during her visit.

According to several activist groups, at least 860 cities around the world have demonstrations planned this Friday.

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