On Nov 29, Fridays for Future Fredericton held a Climate Strike outside the NB Legislative Assembly.
“We are here on Black Friday. I think we should take this back and call it Green Friday,” said Amy Floyd, who works with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. “We could put people and the planet ahead of profits just this one day.”
Ron Tremblay, Grand Chief of the Wolastoqey Grand Council, gave the land acknowledgement, explaining why he chose to attend.
“I’m here to protect the lands, the waters, and the air for the next seven generations to come,” Tremblay said.
David Coon, MLA for Fredericton South and leader of the New Brunswick Green Party, called for Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Higgs to start acting like Climate Change is an emergency and to start implementing actions reflective of an emergency response.
Coon asked for immediate implementation of strategies involving renewable energy, energy savings, and public transportation for New Brunswick that don’t currently exist within the province.
Jenica Atwin, Fredericton’s newly elected Green MP, was also in attendance. She echoed Coon’s call to treat climate change as an emergency.
Atwin led the crowd in chanting: “We are unstoppable, another world is possible.”
She also encouraged other MPs to travel to Ottawa using trains, as she has been doing. She called for less big and fancy conferences and more online conferences, saying leaders should use phones and emails over travelling across the country for meetings.
Megan Mitton, MLA for Memramcook-Tantramar, drew attention to the provincial government’s vote on the throne speech.
“The speech is basically the government’s plan for what they are going to do this year and what they are going to do going forward,” she explained.
Mitton said climate change was mentioned, however, she couldn’t support this throne speech because she felt it was “greenwashing.” This refers to the practice of institutions to make misleading or unsubstantiated claims of climate action in order to appear more environmentally conscious than they are.
“I’m looking at the science coming out this week in advance of [UN Climate Change Conference 25], and looking at what’s in the journal Nature. Frankly, we are facing some serious things and scientists are starting to say we need a planetary emergency declared,” she said.
However, Mitton sees no plans to implement changes required for the province to protect and address the Climate Crisis.
Attendees were invited to participate in the Fridays for Future Fredericton social media campaign #WhyIStrikeCampaign, as well as to sign a petition set-up by Coon’s Youth Round Table.
This roundtable was activated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, which says that the world has 12 years to turn around the effects of climate change.
The petition describes the current effects of climate change in New Brunswick, such as the increasing destruction and costs of floods, frequent power outages from powerful storms, ticks and tree killing pest infestations, and the high cost of food.
Extinction Rebellion was also in attendance. They led a march down to city hall with a coffin for the earth at the helm, calling for the City of Fredericton to begin more serious action and to declare a climate emergency.