Montrealers protest to demand climate action during UN conference
Thousands gather for march in Montreal on Saturday afternoon
People across Quebec braved the cold and gathered in city streets on Saturday to call for climate action in Quebec, as country leaders continue talks at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Poland.
Several thousand people marched in downtown Montreal. A few hundred people also gathered in front of the National Assembly in Quebec City, as well as in several other regions of the province.
The events were part of a series of climate protests organized by the citizens' group La Planète s'invite au Parlement, which translates to "the planet invites itself to Parliament."
Last month, 50,000 people walked in Montreal, including Quebec's Environment Minister MarieChantal Chassé, who is currently in Poland taking part in the UN conference.
Premier François Legault has said that he will make strides toward addressing environmental issues in the province, and many of the demonstrators are set on keeping him to his word.
"What we're here today to say is that we want a real climate action plan now, and we demand that his actions follow his words," said the group's spokesperson Nathalie Roy.
The event wasn't just focused on the state of climate action within the province.
Indigenous leaders from British Columbia marched alongside their Quebec counterparts to call attention to controversial energy projects in Canada.
"I don't view it as just as provincial issue. This is happening all across Canada, with the Trans Mountain pipeline, Muskrat falls, Site C," said Chief Judy Wilson, secretary-treasurer of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs.
"People are all coming together, of all walks of life, to be able to say 'We have to have the number one priority be the climate change issue.'"
She told CBC that this is a "man-made" issue, which means everyone has a responsibility to participate in the solution.
"It's not just an Indigenous issue. It's everyone's issue. It's a global issue," she said. "We have to be able to come together to say, 'No more destruction to mother Earth.'"
With files from CBC's Matt D'Amours