Ariel Kirk-Gushowaty is hoping to get voters thinking about what their candidates’ plans are for climate action ahead of the Sept. 20 federal election.
Kirk-Gushowaty was one of the organizers for a climate action rally at Bear Creek Park on Wednesday (Sept. 8). She was hoping to raise awareness about the fact that we “had this summer of extreme heat, there’s wildfires still burning, and especially for people in B.C., a lot of us really saw the effects.”
The rally was part of a cross-country mobilization by 350.org called “Canada is on Fire” to “ensure that the climate emergency is a top election issue and push all candidates and parties to ramp up their climate ambition.”
Kirk-Gushowaty said the idea to hold the rally was “spur of the moment,” but she said the upcoming Glasgow Climate Change Conference in October is the “last really good chance” to make a change.
Despite all that, when it comes to climate change, she said “It’s going to happen.”
“We’re in an election that was called after a summer where most of Canada was either on fire, covered in smoke, flooding or facing some other climate impact, with rural and Indigenous communities being hardest hit” she said. “This is what a climate emergency looks like and it’s time for politicians to propose solutions that actually meet the scale of this crisis.”
Kirk-Gushowaty added that if nothing is done, the “future is looking bleak.”
When it comes to the upcoming election, she said she thinks about her children who will undoubtedly be impacted by climate change.
“I think having there be a personal sense of urgency is important. I think that’s one of the hardest things about the climate change movement, is that people don’t always feel the urgency because it feels like life is always going on as usual,” Kirk-Gushowaty noted.
“If we wait until things feel urgent, it’s too late. We have 10 years to do something about it.”