Juanita Austin and Jim McConnell show their concern around climate change in the local Canada is on Fire, Day of Action event in downtown Salmon Arm on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Zachary Roman-Salmon Arm Observer)

Juanita Austin and Jim McConnell show their concern around climate change in the local Canada is on Fire, Day of Action event in downtown Salmon Arm on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Zachary Roman-Salmon Arm Observer)

Shuswap residents rally for climate

Day of Action intended to make climate change a top issue leading into federal election

Vote for the climate.

This message, shared by Shuswap residents during a rally held along the Trans-Canada Highway in downtown Salmon Arm on Wednesday, Sept. 8, was as much for voters as it was for federal party candidates seeking election Sept. 20.

“We’re here today to make our point, to raise awareness and hopefully people will think about this before they go to the polling booth,” said Julia Beatty of Shuswap Climate Action, the group that organized the local rally, one of the Canada Is On Fire, Day of Action events held nationwide on the 8th.

“We’re really concerned that government is just doing lip service to climate change issues,” said Jim McConnell, who attended the local event with Juanita Austin. “This year we’ve had fires, floods, droughts, glaciers collapsing, massive crop failures, you name it.”

According to 350.org, an environment-focused organization behind the Sept. 8 events, the upcoming 44th federal election follows one of the worst wildfire seasons on record in Canada. The day of action was part of an effort to make sure climate change is a top election issue.

“We need people to vote for climate action, it’s the most important thing for this election,” said rally participant Kristine Wickner. “For me, it’s about climate justice, not just climate change. Climate change creates inequality, the people that suffer most are those who can’t just up and leave when things get bad.”

For more information, visit shuswapclimate.org.

Read more: Column: Climate change and the summer of our discontent

Read more: Shouting It Out Loud: Fight wildfires by fighting climate change


lachlan@saobserver.net
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Kristine and McKenna Wickner and Willa Matthews take part in the local Canada is on Fire, Day of Action event in downtown Salmon Arm on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Zachary Roman-Salmon Arm Observer)

Kristine and McKenna Wickner and Willa Matthews take part in the local Canada is on Fire, Day of Action event in downtown Salmon Arm on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Zachary Roman-Salmon Arm Observer)