Climate change activists of all ages gathered in front of Vernon, B.C.’s, city hall for an awareness rally.
Hosted by Climate Action Now, multiple speakers were heard, demanding that federal and provincial governments need to take drastic measures to slow climate change.
“We don’t have enough ambition from federal and provincial governments, we need to push them harder,” said Eli Pivnick, a Climate Action Now member.
“We’re in an election that was called after a summer where most of Canada was either on fire, covered in smoke, flooding or facing some other climate impact, with Vernon and the Okanagan Indian Band being among the hardest hit.
“This is what a climate emergency looks like and it’s time for politicians to propose solutions that actually meet the scale of this crisis.”
Pivnick said the time is now for politicians and residents to take climate change more seriously.
“People will say, well, B.C. is small and Canada is small in (pollution) in terms of contribution, but as one of the richest provinces, one of the richest countries in the world, we need to be leaders not laggers,” said Pivnick.
There were a few dozen attendees at the rally.
Teresa Proudlove, a rally attendee, said she and her partner needed to come down to show their support for the rally.
She said this past summer is more than enough evidence that the climate change crisis has arrived in full force.
“This summer was a game-changer,” Proudlove told Global News on Wednesday.
“When that heat dome came in in June and with two months of extraordinary heat, super oppressive smoke and fires — that galvanized us.
“We know there is no more time.”
At the rally, Vernon mayor Victor Cumming talked about the city’s climate action plan that focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, enhancing low-energy transportation and protecting infrastructure.
The rally in Vernon is one of 60 scheduled in major Canadian cities across the country focusing on raising awareness about climate change ahead of the federal election.
“We’re calling on all candidates and political parties to commit to two things: stopping fossil fuel expansion and passing just transition legislation that works for people, not fossil fuel CEO’s,” said Pivnick.
“In May 2021, the International Energy Agency declared that no new oil and gas projects are needed. Canada has to heal its addiction to fossil fuels.”