The Global Day of Climate Actions rally on Saturday afternoon showed support for more green policies

Climate action rally

Casey Richardson

Local climate activists and politicians rallied near the Penticton library to raise awareness for the Global Day of Climate Action. 

The rally was in support of Fridays for Future, but didn’t want to see kids missing school so moved the event to Saturday.

One of the activists is a grade 12 student in Summerland who has been working with municipal governments to try and make positive changes, and hopes to see more progress going forward.

“The environment is so important. There’s so many different layers, different places you can take action. I just wanted to do anything I could,” Jessica Thiede said. 

Education on environmental impacts, reducing  emissions, creating local and federal government policies to develop stronger climate-friendly industries were the main focuses in the rally. 

“Penticton has a climate sustainability advisory committee and they started meeting in January, and then throughout the pandemic they have met a few times. They’re set up to advise the city on things they can actually implement right now that would make change,” Lori Goldman, one of the Climate Activists said.

She mentioned initiatives like more bike paths, free transit with longer schedules and more information on eco friendly homes as initiatives she’d like to see put forward. 

“Right now we have the COVID crisis. This is the perfect opportunity for the city and governments in BC and Canada to make meaningful change when it comes to policies,” Goldman said. 

“I think everyone has put the climate at the back of their minds with the pandemic, but it's important to remember that it’s still changing,” Theide added.    

NDP MLA hopeful for the Penticton Riding, Toni Boot was in attendance and showing support for climate action.  

The activists stated they hope to see the recovery plans put forward for the climate and economy together.

“I think we need as we come out of COVID, and we need to send people back to work, we need to create good jobs, this is the perfect opportunity to invest in green technology,” Richards Cannings, MP for South Okanagan—West Kootenay said.

The group invites anyone to come join upcoming rallies, more information can be found on the Penticton Climate Justice Facebook page or the First Things First Okanagan Facebook page.

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