Lori Goldman, right, cheers as MP Richard Cannings signs a pledge for climate action as part of the climate change rally in Penticton on July 29. (Brennan Phillips - Penticton Western)

MP Cannings signs pledge for green action at Penticton climate change rally

Dozens gathered to rally against the worsening climate

Dozens gathered outside the office of MP Richard Cannings on Thursday to watch him come through on his promise to sign a pact.

The signing was the culmination of a rally that called on the federal government to finally act on climate change.

Organizer Lori Goldman spoke of the growing days of high heat, heavy smoke, droughts and the people who don’t have air conditioning or even homes to protect them.

“Across Canada, almost 1,000 fires are burning, 250 in B.C.,” she said. “The 10-year average in B.C. is 600, this year there’s 1,000 already.”

Goldman and the others gathered at the rally condemned the purchase of the Trans-Mountain Pipeline. Once she finished speaking, she symbolically handed to Cannings a fire extinguisher and a pledge to sign for the fight for a greener future.

Cannings then took to the stage to speak on the changing climate, and the urgent need to address it.

“This has been a huge wake-up call this summer, one of several,” said Cannings. “I grew up here, I spent my first 17 years on the West Bench, and I remember one forest fire in the whole South Okanagan that entire time. Now we have multiple fires every year, every year we have smoke.”

This rally was one of the dozens across the country taking place in other ridings.

In addition to supporting the call to have a moratorium on fossil fuel expansions, Cannings also wants a just transition of workers in the fossil fuel industry into sustainable and long-lasting jobs in other fields.

He condemned the lack of action he first saw from the Liberal party on climate change, where they moved to send out MPs to seek their constituents’ thoughts on climate change instead of acting, and what he nows sees with their transition from fossil fuels, where the Minister of Natural Resources has called for public engagement, to be followed with the formation of an advisory board.

Both were just “kicking the can down the road,” said Cannings to the disappointed boos of the crowd.

Tomorrow, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh will be speaking outside at Nanaimo Square alongside Cannings at 10:45 a.m..

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Climate changeEnvironmentfederal governmentFederal Politics