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Thousands rally in Saskatchewan for action on climate change

WATCH ABOVE: Global Climate Strike protests in Saskatoon and Regina.

Thousands walked the streets of Saskatchewan’s largest cities for Friday’s Global Climate Strike protests in Saskatoon and Regina.

In Saskatoon, organizers estimate about 2,000 people gathered at city hall before making their way past the provincial cabinet office to the federal government building.

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The group is frustrated by the lack of movement on climate change from political leaders across the board.

“They need to start acting as leaders and taking action that we’re calling them to take and helping protect our future because I can’t vote,” said Emma Schaan, one of the students leading the charge.

“I can’t sit there and make plans. That’s their job and they need to start protecting our future.”

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There were dozens of marches across the country with the one in Regina in front of the legislature.

The crowd’s feelings were similar in the Queen City.

“I wanted to come out because if we don’t do it, nobody will. And we sure as heck know that (provincial politicians are) not going to do anything about it without pressure. So here, we’re just applying pressure,” said protestor Bailey O’Halloran.

Saskatchewan’s solar energy industry was struck by SaskPower’s decision to shut down the net metering program last week.

Business leaders are confused about how the province plans to tackle the issue.

“Net metering costs SaskPower nothing. This is basically about kneecapping the industry because they don’t want people producing their own power. They don’t want to lose ratepayers,” said TruGreen Energy president Miguel Catellier.

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Last week, SaskPower said it would stop and review the program, adding ratepayers would see a seven per cent increase on their bills if net metering ran for the next four years — which is what Catellier disputes.

Hundreds of students took part in both sets of rallies, skipping classes in order to make their voices heard.

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“It really shows solidarity of all of us coming together and really taking our future into our own hands because from what we’ve seen so far, the adults aren’t doing it for us. If it means we have to be out here in the cold and standing here every Friday, then that’s what we’ll do,” Schaan said.