Students chant, ‘Listen to the kids’

Global Climate Strike comes to Maple Ridge

School kids carried signs, marched through Maple Ridge city hall and lined the sidewalks on the Pitt River Bridge Friday as part of the youth Global Climate Strike.

Maple Ridge student Adam Bremner-Akins organized the early demonstration on the bridge to catch the attention of morning commuters, which drew federal candidates from both Port Coquitlam and Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge.

But the issue of climate change crosses all political parties. “This isn’t a political issue, it’s everybody’s concern,” Bremner-Akins said.

He said it’s difficult for people to act environmentally and instead called for government policies to encourage people to reduce their impact on the environment. For instance, local food and electric cars could be subsidized while meat products, because of the environmental footprint of producing beef, could be taxed.

Read more: Global climate strike comes to Maple Ridge

“What we need to do is make it easier for people to change,” Bremner-Akins said.

In front of Maple Ridge city hall, students chanted, “Listen to the kids” and, “We want bike lanes, stop the roads,” and wrote their ideas on posters beneath the City of Maple Ridge sign.

Georgia Wagner-Stiles, left, and Savannah Klynsoon, far right, were among Maple Ridge secondary students marching for Extinction Rebellion.

Caileen Jackson and Wyatt and Davis Housley were at city hall to show concern.

Suggestions for averting climate change written on city hall wall.

Matt Aquin was holding a sign reading, “When our kids strike, Maple Ridge, this is an emergency,” just to show his support while independent candidate Steve Ranta and Liberal candidate Dan Ruimy also stopped by.

Cailean Jackson, from Garibaldi secondary, was there because he wanted to be able to live a good life, without being threatened by the effects of climate change, and was also concerned for future generations of his family.

Wyatt Housley, from Thomas Haney secondary and brother Davis, from Whonnock elementary, were also carrying signs. Wyatt said plastic straws should be banned and there should be better recycling in schools.

“I’m happy that people came to protest,” Davis added.

Some Maple Ridge secondary students also held Extinction Rebellion signs and walked around and through city hall. Georgia Wagner-Stiles, from Maple Ridge secondary, said that governments are not doing anything to reverse climate change. More money should go into programs and into research and development, she added.

Savannah Klynsoon, said there needs to be more public education, adding the government’s help is needed. All of the group arrived at the protest by either car-pooling, bus or walking.

Extinction Rebellion is a global group that maintains that life on earth is in crisis because of climate change and could be in the process of mass extinction.

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district supported the day of protest, providing parents OK’d their kids being out of school.

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