A new protest group – some 20 people – presented Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge MP Dan Ruimy with a copy of the Extinction Rebellion Declaration on Saturday.
Steve Ranta, who ran against Ruimy as an independent in the last election, was a leader of the protest that met in front of Ruimy’s downtown Maple Ridge office.
Ranta said the group rebelling over government inaction on climate change.
The page-long declaration claims: “The science is clear – we are in the sixth mass extinction event, and we will face catastrophe if we do not act swiftly and robustly.”
The group’s logo is a stylized hourglass in a circle symbolizing time running out, and participants carried placards with the symbol and environmental messages.
Ranta said the declaration also states: “The willful complicity displayed by our government has shattered meaningful democracy and cast aside the common interest in favour of short-term gain and private profits.
“We, in alignment with our consciences and our reasoning, declare ourselves in rebellion against our government and the corrupted, inept institutions that threaten our future.”
Ruimy wasn’t at his office – although Ranta acknowledged he had invited the MP to meet with the group on Friday.
They found Ruimy at the Haney Farmers Market, in a booth selling tickets for the Rotary Duck Race.
The protesters chanted “Act now, to save the planet,” accompanied by drumbeats, and Ruimy spoke with them.
Ruimy said he listened to the group, but disagreed that government is acting too slowly.
The federal government instituted a “price on pollution” policy that is similar to B.C.’s carbon tax system. He said the federal government has taken other actions, such as offering $5,000 rebates for electric vehicles, and has set targets for converting cars to electric.
It also scrapped the Northern Gateway Pipeline.
Locally, Ruimy said, the government has taken action to protect salmon and fish habitat. And when it funds a pump in Pitt Meadows’ diking and draining system, it puts a caveat that it must be fish friendly.
This rebellion began in the U.K. a year ago, with a declaration signed by 100 academics concerned government was acting much too slowly in addressing climate change. The movement’s non-violent civil disobedience has resulted in hundreds of arrests in the U.K. and widespread awareness of the movement and its concerns.