Sixteen-year-old Mace MacGowan braved a fierce wind on the steps of city hall Friday and urged City of Chilliwack officials to declare a climate emergency and implement a “solid” action plan for the community.
“We have a big carbon footprint here in Chilliwack itself,” he said, noting the rapid growth in population the region has sustained in recent years.
Some hand-painted signs held by youth the crowd read: “Our planet is dying” “Why should I clean up my room when the world’s such a mess?” and “No more pollution!”
It was the latest global climate strike in Chilliwack over the lunch hour on Friday, Nov. 29. This day it drew kids, teens, parents, members of the faith community, electric car advocates, water protectors, environmental activists and concerned citizens, who’ve been demanding action from their elected reps on a series of Friday climate events inspired by Greta Thunberg.
Mayor Ken Popove took the mic briefly outside city hall to thank the crowd for showing up on a sunny Friday, and tell them his aim in being there was to listen to the many speakers.
“The City (of Chilliwack) takes climate change very seriously,” he said.
After the group of about 60 marched from Salish Park to city hall where they met up with another 10 or 20 at the steps, MacGowan presented a petition with more than 450 names to Mayor Ken Popove, asking for meaningful action on climate.
It asked Chilliwack to:
1. Join the growing list of cities and municipalities across B.C. that publicly recognize climate change has reached a crisis point globally;
2. Develop and implement a plan of action to act on this crisis locally
Climate Action plans have been in place in Chilliwack since 2012, and the the corporate and community plans are in the process of being updated.
A request for proposals (RFP) closed Nov. 27 at city hall, seeking qualified consultants to review the city’s ‘Corporate and Community Air Quality, Energy and Greenhouse Gas Action Plans.’ Community consultation is coming for the updated plans, and the public will be invited to offer feedback and input on the process.