25 climate vigils across British Columbia: in photos

Photo credit: Wilderness Committee

Last night in twenty-five cities, towns, and neighbourhoods, British Columbians gathered to light candles for those killed by heat events, mudslides, and other climate-related disasters this year.

Outside the office of David Eby, Attorney General and MLA for Vancouver-Point Grey

Neighbours in large cities and small towns met outside the constituency offices of their provincial representatives to call on them to put tax dollars and legislation to work to prevent future deaths.

Outside MLA Harwinder Sandhu’s office in Vernon

MLAs were sincerely invited to attend and share words, but only a few took the opportunity.

BC Liberal MLA Norm Letnick in Kelowna (in the blue jacket, photo on the right) was one of the representatives to attend and speak at one of the vigils.
Bowinn Ma, BC NDP MLA for Vancouver-Lonsdale, also attended the vigil outside her office. The same day, the District of North Vancouver passed a motion to endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Outside the constituency office of MLA George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, in Vancouver. Photo credit: Wilderness Committee

British Columbians, within a few months, have experienced a “heat dome” event that killed 595 people, fires including one that burned the entire town of Lytton, and floods and mudslides that have forced thousands out of their homes and killed several people.

Outside the constituency office of MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard in Courtenay on Vancouver Island

The B.C. government, led by Premier John Horgan of the New Democratic Party, continues to champion the development of new fossil fuel infrastructure, including new pipelines and export facilities for fracked gas.

Poster reads: “Ms. Leonard has been missing in action since the government began catastrophically bungling the climate emergency.”
People brought their own banner and signs to the office of Adrian Dix, Minister of Health and MLA for Vancouver-Kingsway.

Over 350 organizations and businesses in the province have now signed an open letter calling on Horgan’s government to “confront the climate emergency” by taking ten straightforward actions.

In Nelson, outside NDP MLA Brittny Anderson’s office, seventeen year old Fridays for Future activist Peregrine Hoskins told the crowd that her cohort is finding it hard to consider spending the next four years going to university to prepare for future careers that seem so uncertain, and cannot see themselves ever becoming parents. MLA Brittny Anderson is Premier Horgan’s special advisor on youth.

The letter also stresses the importance of recognizing Indigenous title and rights, even as the provincial government authorized RCMP to remove Wet’suwet’en land defenders from their territory to clear a path for gas pipeline development by Coastal Gas Link.

In Victoria, outside the office of MLA Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.

Signatories of the open letter to Premier Horgan range from breweries, bookstores, farms, and plumbers, to churches, synagogues, unions, and youth groups. The momentum is growing as significant organizations continue to sign on, including the BC Teachers’ Federation and BC Family Doctors.

MLA Grace Lore’s office in Victoria. Top left: Bishop Anna Greenwood-Lee of the Anglican Diocese of British Columbia. Top right: Dr. Rick Kool, instructor and founder of the M.A. in Environmental Education and Communication, Royal Roads University, next to Rabbi Harry Brechner of Congregation Emanu-El
In Salmon Arm, outside the office of MLA Greg Kyllo
Port Alberni, outside Minister of Municipal Affairs and MLA Josie Osborne’s office. In the black coat is Brenda Sayers of Hupacasath First Nation. In the blue coat is Brenda Nestegaard Paul, Reverend Canon of the Trinity Anglican Lutheran Church.
In Penticton, outside MLA Dan Ashton’s office, with members of First Things First Okanagan.
In Surrey, at the office of MLA Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines, and Petroleum Resources. Surrey resident Mairyam spoke: “We need you to listen to us because we have lost so many people this year and we don’t know how many people we are going to lose next year. You are supposed to be a leader. You are supposed to be brave.”
In Squamish, outside MLA Jordan Sturdy’s office, even babies showed up to brave the cold
In Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast, at one of two candle vigils held in the riding of MLA Nicholas Simons.
Young people lit candles outside the constituency office of MLA Nicholas Simons in Powell River.
One group gathered outside the city hall of New Westminster, where the municipal government also passed a motion to the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The fact that no single organization planned the twenty-five events reflects an unprecedented level of concern and common purpose among British Columbians who urgently want to see the provincial government meet the climate emergency.

Provincial representatives can expect more and more pressure from their constituents, as organizations and businesses continue to add their names to the open letter at climateactions.ca/signatories and British Columbians build on a now weekly Monday evening practice of recognizing the lives and places they are losing to the climate emergency.

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We challenge corporations and governments to treat people and the environment with respect, because our lives depend on it. www.stand.earth

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Stand.earth

Stand.earth

We challenge corporations and governments to treat people and the environment with respect, because our lives depend on it. www.stand.earth

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