Thunder Bay·Audio

People's Climate March draws big crowd in Thunder Bay

Dozens of families, seniors and teens marched from Hillcrest Park to Waverly Park on Sunday as part of the People's Climate March.

Climate change is 'the most important issue in our world today,' says participant Susan Marrier

Walkers leave Hillcrest Park on Sunday as part of a global march showing support and solidarity for immediate action on climate change. (Jody Porter/CBC)

Dozens of families, seniors and teens marched from Hillcrest Park to Waverly Park in Thunder Bay on Sunday as part of the People's Climate March.

Susan Marrier (l) and Marilyn Wallace say they're concerned about the impact of climate change on people and animals, such as the bumble bee represented by Marilyn's hat. (Jody Porter/CBC)

It's one of hundreds of walks taking place today around the world, including a mass march in New York City that is expected to attract upwards of 100,000 people.

"I think this is probably the most important issue in our world today," said Susan Marrier, who came out to show her support. "Nothing else matters if our planet dies."

'I had to put my body on the line'

"I don't think people really realize how grave this is. Governments certainly don't and they don't listen to us," Marrier added. "Maybe they'll listen to us if there are thousands of people who show up. I sure hope so. That's why I'm here I just felt I had to put my body on the line."

Student Courtney Mondoux hopes the Climate March will spark a broader conversation about society's reliance on fossil fuels. Her master's research at Trent University is focussed on polar bears, animals she says are threatened by climate change. (Jody Porter/CBC)

University student Courtney Mondoux came dressed in a polar bear hat, its ear flaps hanging down into 'paws.' Her masters research focuses on polar bears in Hudson Bay, and she said she wanted to give the creatures a 'voice' at the march.

"The polar bears can't come here and tell you that they need sea ice and that there's no other ways of conserving polar bears like there are other species," Mondoux said. "We can put up a game reserve for caribou maybe, we can't put up an ice reserve if we don't stop greenhouse gas emissions."

Seeking 'large-scale' policy change

Mondoux hopes the international rallies and marches, in advance of the United Nations Climate Summit on Tuesday, will spark discussion.

Reggie Duncan dressed in blue to represent the sky and the ocean and says "now is the time to save our planet." (Jody Porter/CBC)

"Hopefully the conversation will spiral from there to large-scale policy initiatives," Mondoux said. "So not always seeing the environment and economy in contrast, but coming toward a unifying, sustainable plan to move forward, maybe less dependant on fossil fuels."

Most marchers were optimistic change would come from their actions.

"This means a lot to me," said Reggie Duncan. "I want to save the planet for generations to come. We all can make a difference."


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