Hamilton environmentalists plan city hall rally ahead of federal leader debates


Published September 7, 2021 at 7:04 pm

Environmentalists in Hamilton are planning a rally on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 8) in coordination with a day of action to address the climate crisis.

The event is scheduled to start at Hamilton City Hall on Main St. at 3:30 p.m., with speakers to begin appearing around 4 p.m.. The group Hamilton 350 has asked supporters to RSVP so the event can comply with COVID-19 protocols and social distancing guidelines.

“This action will be non-partisan, calling on all federal party leaders to respond to the climate crisis at the scale and speed both science and justice demand,” the organizers have stated.

The nationwide rallies are happening ahead of a second French-language leaders debate on Wednesday night involving Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative Erin O’Toole, the NDP’s Jagmeet Singh, the Green Party’s Annamie Paul and Yves-François Blanchet of the Bloc Québécois. An English-language debate is slated for Thursday.

The speakers at the Hamilton rally will include:

  • Lynda Lukasic, executive director, Environment Hamilton
  • Adeola Egbeyemi, Divest McMaster
  • Kojo Damptey, interim executive director, Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion
  • Skyler Williams, spokesperson, 1492 Landback Lane
  • Rolf Gerstenberger, co-chair, Hamilton Health Coalition and former president, United Steelworkers Local 1005
  • Anthony Marco, president, Hamilton & District Labour Council
  • Grant Linney, an outdoor and environmental educator with Hamilton Blue Dot

Hamilton has experienced the effects of climate change this summer. Air quality was affected from drifting smoke from forest fires in northwestern Ontario. August, thanks to the frequency of rain and high humidity, also set a record for the highest average dewpoint since record-keeping began at 18.3 Celsius. The previous mark was set in August 2018, and nine of the 10 ‘moistest’ months have happened within the last decade.

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