Demanding a clean energy revolution, respect for First Nations communities, green jobs, and true environmental justice, thousands of Canadians are expected to turn out in Toronto on Sunday for a much-anticipated March for Jobs, Justice, and the Climate.
It is predicted to be "the most diverse climate action in Canada's history"—the grand debut of "a new kind of climate movement"—bringing together an "an unprecedented coalition" of Indigenous frontline communities, the labor movement, social justice organizations, environmental groups, scientists, students, and families.
A 1 pm EDT rally on the lawn in front of Ontario Legislature in Queens Park will be followed by a march to Allan Gardens.
Four different contingents in the march will visually depict the movement's demands for "a justice-based transition to a new energy economy, in which corporate polluters pay and ordinary people benefit":
- "It starts with justice" for Indigenous peoples and those most impacted;
- creates "good work, clean jobs and healthy communities";
- recognizes that "we have solutions"; and
- shows "we know who is responsible" for causing the climate crisis.
A number of high-profile Canadians and others will march, including: eco-activist and author David Suzuki, anti-capitalist Naomi Klein, 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben, humanitarian Stephen Lewis, and Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow.
Speaking to the Toronto Star about the march last week, McKibben said: "It's about people who understand that jobs in the future, a working economy in the future, depends on a working climate." He told the Star it has been sad to watch Canada become a rogue actor on environmental issues, "thanks to (Prime Minister Stephen) Harper and the Conservatives," and that he was looking forward to seeing "the other side of Canada on the streets."
And that other side of Canada will be out in full force, with organizers heralding the participation of a diverse coalition of individuals and groups from across Canada, including labor unions representing Alberta oil workers, First Nations on the frontlines of extraction projects, racialized communities from climate-impacted regions, environmental groups, anti-poverty, worker and faith groups, health workers, scientists, students, migrant justice groups, and others.
Sunday's mobilization comes on the heels of a nationwide day of action on Saturday, which featured creative protests, local marches, and public awareness events from coast to coast.
And the demonstration is happening on the eve of the Pan American Climate and Economic Summits, taking place July 7-9 in Toronto, where organizers say "politicians will face a choice: listen to corporate leaders from across the Americas gathering to advance an economic austerity agenda that is increasing inequality and causing a climate crisis felt disproportionally in the global south—or listen to the people."