Montrealers Call for the Environment to be a Topic in Current Elections

Over 2000 March for Environmental Issues to Stopped Being Overlooked

  • Protestors marched with joy as they cheered and clapped throughout the Quebec march for the environment. Photo Alexander Perez

In the midst of the provincial election campaign, immigration has become one of the main focal points, leaving many to feel environmental issues have been overlooked.

The summer culminated a total of eight heath waves. Over the summer there were 90 deaths throughout the province, 53 of which were in Montreal. This has prompted The Planet is Hitting the Campaign Trail—a collective of citizens who believe environmental concerns should be a top priority—to organize a march in hope of shifting the attention in the current election campaign.

On Saturday afternoon, over 2000 people participated in the Quebec March for the Environment, in a bid to catch the eyes of political parties. The march began at Montreal Science Centre in Montreal’s Old Port, ending at Mont-Royal park.

“We want that the politicians have a concrete resolution about environmental [issues],” said Charles Ste-Marie of the Conseil central du Montréal métropolitain—a regional coordinating body within the CSN.

“We talk about a lot of things, but on a dead planet you don’t have any economy, you don’t have anything, […] the environment needs to be the most important thing in this campaign,” continued Ste-Marie.

Ste-Marie said politicians aren’t taking environmental concerns seriously and said that Justin Trudeau has made empty promises to Canadians. “We want them to have concrete solutions for environmental issues. Without good air, without good water, [our planet] is nonexistent,” he said.

A large black pick up truck lead the way for the march with music playing from two large speakers tied down to the trunk. With the sun beaming down, the crowd clapped, cheered and sang along with the music throughout the walk under the 30 C weather.

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“The economy and developing green jobs can [work together], they are not opposite,” added Ste-Marie, who said the government should better plan for a transition towards a green economy.

The march ended at Mont-Royal park. The Beatles ‘Come Together’ played while marchers made their way up along the hill. While the march wasn’t backing one single party, members of the Green Party and Québec solidaire were present, Including former QS spokesperson and founder, Francoises David.

“Many of the economical politics in Quebec, were against [environmental issues]. People just think about the economy,” said David. “I think we need a new economy, a green economy.”

David agreed with Ste-Marie’s in saying these concerns are overlooked. She drew examples from Le Parti Québécois, who wanted to extract oil and gas from Anticosti Island, while also calling out current Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard.

“When I see Couillard and his hesitation to say no to oil in all of Quebec, it’s difficult to see that,” David said.

In continuing to push candidates to take these concerns into account, The Planet is Hitting the Campaign Trail will march again next Saturday, Sept. 22, starting at Parc Émilie-Gamelin at 2PM.

“We have to get together to save our planet, we have to to vote for the planet,” said Ste-Marie.

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