More than 300 people rallied outside Calgary city hall to demand action on climate change during the Global Climate Strike on Friday.
It follows 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg’s call to action for people around the world to advocate for and support young people standing up for change.
One of those initiatives, called “Friday’s for Future,” is an international movement created by Thunberg for school students who take time off from class to participate in demonstrations to demand climate change action.
High school student Chase Cardinal has been striking at city hall every Friday since May. Along with his classmates, they’ve been advocating for change in Alberta.
“There’s a lot of misinformation pushed by a lot of different groups and officials that make it seem as though addressing climate change and believing the science is somehow anti-Albertan and anti-Canadian. That’s just simply a false notion,” Cardinal said.
“The truth of the matter is that if we take action on climate change effectively, it is one of the best things we can do for Canada, for Alberta and for Calgary.”
The Climate Strike also held a die-in on the steps of City Hall. Dozens of people laid on the ground to symbolize what could happen as a result of inaction.
Green Party leader Elizabeth May makes an appearance at Calgary Climate Strike
Green party leader Elizabeth May made a campaign stop in Calgary to participate in the Youth Climate Strike. May said she wants Albertans to know she doesn’t believe they don’t care about climate change.
“Alberta’s culture and tradition is really close to the earth, close to the ground. People in Alberta really love the land,”
“The climate crisis doesn’t only just happen everywhere else but in Alberta. “It happens with floods, it happens with fires, it happens with tornadoes and we all have to act together. So our message as Greens is it’s all hands on deck.”
The Youth Climate Strike kicked off the Climate Expo and Parade also happening on Friday, and a week of climate change action and education demonstrations happening all over the world.
Youth striker Katherine Arich said she’s hoping Friday’s demonstration and expo sparks more young people to get vocal. She plans to continue protesting at city hall for the foreseeable future.
“We’re not going to back down until we see change,” she said.