Update: Climate rally in Chilliwack changes location to downtown park

Chilliwack citizens will take the case for clean energy alternatives to the new park at Five Corners in downtown Saturday.

TransMountain tank farm in Burnaby

It’s a climate-focused rally for those who want their elected officials in Chilliwack — and across Canada — to seek better alternatives to fossil fuel extraction and pipeline expansions.

‘Defend Our Climate, Defend Our Communities’ event is set for May 10 at 1 p.m. in the new green space park at Five Corners in downtown Chilliwack.

It’s really about protecting our future, says organizer Wayne Froese.

“Chilliwack residents and families are affected by the economic and environmental impacts of tar sands, pipelines and climate change as much as any community in B.C.,” he said.

The local protest is on the heels of one by Leadnow last November that saw rallies in 130 communities, including Chilliwack, to connect to a nationwide movement.

The timing of the rally is in part because decisions are looming on pipeline projects across Canada.

“We’re at the beginning of a great transition to replace fossil fuels with clean energy and ensure a safe climate and strong economy for all generations,” said Froese in release.

Around the world, more money is being invested in creating electricity with renewable energy than all fossil fuels combined. So federal support for “boom-and-bust dirty energy projects” that can pollute while “piping the profits out of our communities” are part of the problem, he said.

Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon MP Mark Strahl countered some of these points by underlining in an emailed statement that “Canada is a world leader in the production of renewable resources.

“Nearly 60 per of all electricity in this country is generated by running water,” Strahl added.

“Our government has made investments in clean energy technology and undertaken other initiatives that have resulted in real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in this country.

“We have achieved this without introducing a carbon tax and while supporting the responsible development of our natural resources.

“We’ve also reduced greenhouse gases while growing the economy,” the MP said.

* This version has been modified with the new location of the rally downtown, no longer at the MP’s office.

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