Nova Scotia

Half of Nova Scotia MLAs took a pass on climate strike rally in Halifax

A day after holding an emergency debate on climate change at Province House, about half of Nova Scotia's MLAs attended the climate strike march and rally in downtown Halifax on Friday.

More than 10,000 people attended march and speeches in the downtown

Thousands of people gathered at Halifax Grand Parade as part of the global climate strike on Sept. 27, 2019. (Paul Poirier/CBC)

A day after holding an emergency debate on climate change at Province House, about half of Nova Scotia's MLAs attended the climate strike march and rally in downtown Halifax on Friday.

The environment has been the main focal point of the fall session since the legislature opened on Thursday. The government announced a bill that will ban single-use plastic bags next year and Premier Stephen McNeil called for the emergency debate that same day.

On Friday, the government concluded House business earlier than usual in the morning to allow MLAs time to attend the rally, which snaked through downtown Halifax before reaching Grand Parade. But not as many members took advantage of the opportunity as some people might have hoped.

Thirteen of 27 Liberal MLAs attended the event. They were: Environment Minister Gordon Wilson, Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin, Education Minister Zach Churchill, Business Minister Geoff MacLellan, Immigration Minister Lena Diab, Labour Minister Labi Kousoulis, Energy Minister Derek Mombourquette, Public Service Commission Minister Tony Ince, Keith Irving, Ben Jessome, Suzanne Lohnes-Croft, Rafah DiCostanzo and Hugh MacKay.

The premier was not at the event. His spokesperson said he was attending a briefing update on contract negotiations with doctors. Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Leo Glavine attended a rally in Wolfville.

Seven of 17 MLAs from the Progressive Conservative caucus attended the rally. They were: Barbara Adams, Tim Halman, Brad Johns, Tory Rushton, Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin, Colton LeBlanc and Steve Craig.

A spokesperson for the party said Tory Leader Tim Houston was unable to attend the rally because he had a previously arranged meeting in Pictou County with P.E.I. Premier Dennis King.

Four of five New Democrat MLAs participated in the rally, including party Leader Gary Burrill, Claudia Chender, Susan LeBlanc and Lisa Roberts.

Halifax police estimated more than 10,000 people attended the event, which was one of many happening that day across the world.

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Clarifications

  • A previous version of this story contained an incomplete list of the Liberal MLAs who attended Friday's climate strike, which was provided by the Liberal caucus.
    Oct 01, 2019 12:23 PM AT

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