Global climate strike comes to B.C. legislature in Victoria
VICTORIA -- A week-long series of climate protests across Vancouver Island is culminating in downtown Victoria today as students from across the region participate in a global climate strike.
Police will be closing down a number of downtown blocks from Johnson Street to Humboldt Street along Douglass Street as students walked out of their classes at 11 a.m. to meet at the B.C. legislature at noon, where they will remain until 5 p.m.
While hundreds of youth-led climate strikes are taking place across the globe on Friday, Victoria's protest launches alongside roughly 200 rallies in Canada, including one in Montreal that will be joined by Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg and Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau.
Canadian students participating in the strike are hoping to accelerate the federal government's plans to counter the effects of climate change, citing United Nations reports that state that the world has until 2030 to stop a rise of 1.5 C in global temperatures to prevent environmental catastrophes.
Thousands of Vancouver Island students are expected to join in today's demonstration. Meanwhile, in Vancouver, more than 10,000 people are expected to join the city's mass climate strike.
By 1 p.m., Victoria police said they would be deploying temporary surveillance cameras around the protest due to "numbers rivalling Canada Day."
On Friday afternoon, B.C. Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, George Heyman, issued a statement on the climate strikes happening in the province and beyond.
"One year ago, Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg began a movement that has only grown more powerful as we continue to see the effects of climate change all around us," said Heyman.
"This past week, we’ve seen millions of young people and others around the world speaking out for their future. We all have a responsibility to rise to the challenge and take meaningful action today."