Skip to content

PHOTOS: Residents urge governments to reorganize priorities at Climate Crisis Coquitlam rally

About 30 people stood outside local MP Ron McKinnon's office with signs and loud voices demanding action in light of B.C.'s ongoing wildfire season and recent heat wave.

"They did not keep their promises."

A group of people held a rally in Port Coquitlam Thursday afternoon (July 15) as they raised their voices in response to B.C.'s current climate predicament, bringing to light the recent heat wave and ongoing wildfires.

About 30 people convened outside the office of Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam MP Ron McKinnon with signs — small, medium and large ones — and organizer Jane Thomsing was grateful to see the public's support.

"We received lots of support, honks and cheers just as we did at the Colony Farm park protest a couple of months ago," she told the Tri-City News.

"We will grow as we head to a federal election to ensure the public is aware that Ron McKinnon is not taking action against the climate crisis."

The rally took place one week after prime minister Justin Trudeau and B.C. premier John Horgan made a five-year commitment to funding for $10 a day child care.

The announcement was made at Coquitlam's Lafarge Lake — McKinnon was also in attendance along with other local politicians and dignitaries — and the Tri-City News spotted a few climate action supporters after they were made aware of the gathering on social media hours beforehand.

Thomsing explained this was a reason why a larger rally wasn't scheduled until seven days later.

"We know this was nothing more than more false promises and a photo opportunity," she said. "Had we known about the event, rest assured we would have been there to protest!"

No statement or reporters' questions mentioned climate change during the news conference.

Later that day, Trudeau and Horgan had a virtual meeting with wildfire responders and others in relation to the Lytton fire sparked by the province's recent heat wave when temperatures soared into the mid-40s.

The Climate Crisis Coquitlam group claims the federal and B.C. governments haven't fulfilled their campaign promises of addressing climate change and have instead put support for the fossil fuel industry.

"The BCCDC [BC Centre for Disease Control] recently warned us to prepare for the worst air quality," said Thomsing. 

"There are currently 300 fires burning in our province yet construction continues for a second bitumen pipeline and this goes right through our community. Currently, part of a public park is closed to allow Trans Mountain [TMX] to construct the portion of the pipeline that is intended to be drilled under the Fraser River. Climate leaders don’t build pipelines."

The park Thomsing is referring to is Colony Farm Regional Park, which is partially closed tentatively until April 2022 as TMX is working on the Fraser River crossing for a temporary workspace and pullback area.

On its website, TMX explains it's committed "to ensuring as minimal environmental footprint as practical, and bringing the area back to its original or better condition and use."

You can visit TMX's website for more information.

In the meantime, Thomsing said the Climate Crisis Coquitlam group is set to reappear at McKinnon's office biweekly in hopes their message reaches to more residents and visitors.

"The air we breathe, drought, record high temperatures, fires…if we continue on this path of destruction things will be much worse and this is only the beginning."