On Friday, September 25, people from across New Brunswick gathered outside of Premier Higgs’s office at the Chancery Place, calling upon the New Brunswick government to take immediate action regarding the global climate crisis.
The protest was held by Extinction Rebellion New Brunswick (XR NB), which is an environmental conservation organization, and encouraged the Higgs government to commit to transitioning the New Brunswick economy to net-zero emissions by 2035. XR NB informed the people that this will not be the only protest, as many more are to follow until changes have been made.
“We need to respond to the climate emergency with the same vigor and same relentlessness that we have for the COVID-19 pandemic. We need to seize this opportunity, which, in all likelihood, will probably be our last to make deep systematic changes to our society,” said Jessica Spencer, who was the host of the event and member of XR NB. “It’s criminal negligence.”
The peaceful protest respected social distancing guidelines, with participants wearing masks and following COVID-19 protocols.
The event had a list of speakers which included: Ron Tremblay, who is the Chief of the Wolastoq Grand Council; Chris Rouse of New Clear Free Solutions; Doug Swain, a member of XR NB; and David Coon, the MLA for Fredericton South and leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick.
“Liberals, conservatives; they have failed us. They have not followed one section of the peace and friendship treaty with us,” said Tremblay. “This is our homeland – we never surrender.”
Reverend Marian Lucas-Jefferies, an Anglican priest, was also in attendance. Through the church, she has a history of involvement with the environmental movement.
“I’m very committed to making sure that good science is applied. Renewable energy can be the answer to a lot of our problems. The thing is, it doesn’t matter that we have a pandemic if our time is so limited because of the things we are doing,” said Lucas-Jefferies. “The answers are simple, and they can be implemented quickly.”