Residents of Powell River and Texada Island joined thousands of people around the world who participated in the Global Climate March, Sunday, November 29.
The events were organized in advance of the United Nations Climate Summit that runs from November 30 to December 11 brings world leaders together in Paris.
“It’s a very auspicious day,” said former City of Powell River mayor Stewart Alsgard, emcee of the event. “More than 2,000 marches are happening worldwide, and in London and Paris, where the climate conference is about to begin. But also in Ashcroft, Terrace, Campbell River and here in Powell River and Texada Island.”
Approximately 50 people bundled up to walk the five kilometres from Willingdon Beach to Townsite, with another 20-30 joining at the cenotaph outside of Dwight Hall.
Mayor Dave Formosa, who brought his grandchildren to the march, told those gathered that he was disappointed with the turnout.
“Climate change is a reality,” said Formosa. “It is all around us. I hope folks wake up.”
Formosa pointed to the rise in hurricanes, tropical storms, higher ocean levels and the province’s recent tough forest fire season as indicators that change is afoot. He noted that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has committed $2.65 billion to providing aid in global climate justice.
Tla’amin elder Elsie Paul spoke to the gathering about creating a growing awareness of how wasteful society has become.
Neither MP Rachel Blaney nor MLA Nicholas Simons were able to attend the Powell River march due to Blaney participating in Campbell River’s march and Simons in Texada’s.
The march along the waterfront culminated at the cenotaph with Julia Adam, One Voices Choir director, leading the group in “We Are the Ones We’re Waiting For,” a four-part song created from a line from African American civil rights poet June Jordan’s poem entitled “Poem for South African Women.”
The event wrapped up with a full house at the Patricia Theatre for a showing of Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein’s film, This Changes Everything.
Here is a video of Julia Adam leading the Once Voices Choir during the climate march: