VICTORIA -- Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg says she was unaware of an invitation to visit Victoria, but has clarified that she "definitely" didn't turn it down because of concern over ferry emissions.
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps previously told CTV Vancouver Island that her council has been told Thunberg will not continue on from Vancouver on Friday to Vancouver Island.
Helps says she was told that the rebuffed appeal came because BC Ferries vessels run on fossil fuels.
“Last week, [Coun.] Ben Isitt contacted a person who is helping with Thunberg’s visit in Canada,” Helps told CTV News. “He said that the absence of a fossil fuel-free option was a major obstacle to visiting the island.”
The leader of British Columbia's Green party said he also invited Thunberg to speak in the provincial legislature.
Thunberg dismissed the rumours in an Instagram post late Tuesday night, but did not clarify if she would visit Vancouver Island.
"I don't know anything about an invitation to Victoria, and I have definitely not declined it because of 'emissions' from the public transport ferry," read the post.
Despite the confusion, there is a groundswell of support to get the teen activist to Victoria.
Former Olympic rower Adam Kreek says he is willing to bring Thunberg to Vancouver Island without burning a drop of fossil fuel.
“I’m throwing my oars in the ring,” Kreek told CTV News. The gold medalist says he would row Thunberg from Vancouver to Victoria in a trip he expects could take just four to eight hours.
“This is the green enclave of Canada. We want her here.”
Kreek told CTV News Thunberg's organization has responded to him and is considering his offer.
Olympians and Victoria politicians aren’t the only ones hoping Thunberg crosses from Vancouver to Victoria.
In a letter, leaders of Victoria’s Youth Climate Strike BC politely asked the Swedish activist to meet island youngsters.
“We would be happy to arrange meetings for you in Victoria and Saanich, including public engagements if you so wish.”
The letter was a joint venture between the climate group, the City of Victoria and the District of Saanich.
CTV News has reached out to Thunberg’s organization, Fridays For Future, for a response to the invitation. As of early Wednesday, no response had been given.