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March for action on climate change is youth driven

'I’m hoping that people will educate themselves and try to be more environmentally friendly' Chloe Cook march organizer

Like a lot of parents, Shawn Moreton is concerned about his daughter’s future when it comes to the environment.

Moreton brought his three-and-a-half-year-old daughter Adelaide to a locally organized event as part of Global climate strike initiative.  

“I’m concerned about the things we’re seeing happening with deforestation, fires, and species extinction on a massive level, the ocean being depleted of fish. There are so many reasons to be here. We see the youth taking leadership here, but we need our political leaders to take this seriously,” said Moreton.

“We’re in campaign mode now. This is such a big issue. I think it is the most important issue of our time and we need to take it seriously.”

This is the third time 10-year-old Chloe Cook organized an event to raise awareness about climate change.

Supporters joined her at the North Bay Museum for a march to city hall.

“We’re here to raise awareness. I’m hoping that people will educate themselves and try to be more environmentally friendly,” said the youngster.

“I’m buying only what I need. I’m buying things second hand, so things don’t end up in the garbage, and we compost and recycle. Everyone needs to reduce their carbon footprint.”

Daniel Pike pulled his canoe, secure on wheels, to city hall.

 “In other climate rallies around the world groups have used a sailboat as a symbol of their protest. The sailboat is symbolic because climate changes lead to sea level rising which leads to flooding and we need something to keep us afloat,” said Pike.

“I just thought for Canada, what is more symbolic than the canoe? It was instrumental in helping to form the country we have today, and it keeps us afloat.  I’m hoping it will help keep us afloat through the climate crisis as well.”

Holding handmade signs that read “There is no Planet B” and Fighting for My Future” Trish Lewis, Lynn Dubien and Zoe Anne Dubien let it be known that there is only one earth, and everyone needs to take care of it.”                         

“We need the politicians to wake up and start implementing policies that are going to make a difference. Not little changes, drastic changes. I don’t understand why people don’t see it,” said Dubien.

“I do understand the economic parts of it all. The policies need to reflect on the needs of everybody, but nothing supersedes the needs of the earth.”

Little Zoe Anne is concerned for her future.

“The earth needs us to save it.”

Representing three generations, grandmother Cindy Brown, son Wesley Dufoe and his son Hayden Dufoe attended the march.

“It is for his future,” Brown said referencing her grandson Hayden Dufoe.

“I’m seeing what’s happening. We’re all seeing what is happening and I would like the world to last for him, so he has a future, and it is a green one, that he is not wearing masks and he’s not surrounded by pollution. The world needs to last long enough for generations to come.”

North Bay Mayor Al McDonald spoke to the group gathered outside city hall, offering his support, and to let them know that while the city is engaged in several environmentally friendly initiatives, more could be done.

“One is the capture of the methane gas at our landfill site. We remove 45-thousand tonnes of co2 gas out of our atmosphere every year because of that program. The conversion of the methane gas is enough energy to power 900 homes annually. So, we’re very proud of that,” said McDonald.

“From a city perspective, we realize that we have a responsibility to continue to do more.”