Several dozen people gathered at the front steps of the Alberta Legislature on Saturday afternoon to witness a unique ceremony.
A red carpet was rolled out for a mock wedding between the oil industry and the government as part of the National Day of Action to Defend our Climate.
The mock wedding in Edmonton was just one of the many events taking place across the country. More than 50 cities and communities across Canada hosted similar actions on Saturday to demand federal and provincial action when it comes to climate change.
“It’s a tongue-in-cheek way to bring awareness to a very serious problem,” said Mike Hudema, a campaigner with Greenpeace who helped organize the event.
“Our government and the oil industry — their relationship is getting closer and closer at the detriment to our communities and to our environment. It’s a relationship we need to break. It’s time the government puts people before polluters.”
The event started at Canada Place, with the group of supporters marching to the legislature to watch the mock wedding.
Katrina Armstrong was one of the organizers. She said one of the advantages of the event is that there are similar actions going on at the same time around the country.
“There’s a message that’s streamlined and you can get the point across a little better,” said Armstrong.
“We definitely want to be highlighting the oh-so-cozy relationship between the government and the fossil fuel industry,” she said. “We want to emphasize that there is little transparency to this relationship and that we are not OK with what is going on with the tarsands.”