Environment minister announces money for climate change summit, will attend march
The CAQ government announced plans for a major youth summit on climate change next year, as pressure grows for Francois Legault's majority government to do more on environmental issues.
Next summer, hundreds of students will come to Quebec City for the first-ever international university student summit on climate action at Laval University that the Quebec government will pay $300,000 to host.
"We're very, very proud that our government sees in our university the capacity to do that and bring these people together," said Laval University rector Sophie D'Amours.
Opposition parties, students and other critics claim the CAQ government has not done enough to fight climate change.
"Not impressed at all," said Laval student Camille Poirot. "We don't see any action, and that is why we're going to march, and we're going to strike on the 27th."
The Montreal march against climate change is scheduled for Sept. 27 as part of an international day of action, and questions have arisen as to who will or should be there representing the Quebec government.
Quebec Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge criticized the province's largest school board, the CSDM (Commission scholaire de Montreal), for cancelling classes to allow elementary and high school students to take part in the march.
The Parti Quebecois's interim leader, Pascal Berube, however, sees no problem with students taking part.
"When you participate at a rally, it's education about being a citizen," he said.
Quebec Solidaire leaders have suggested the entire National Assembly should be shut down on the day to take part in the rally.
"This is a demand of a whole generation that wants politicians to work together to find solutions to climate change," said QS MNA Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.
Quebec Environment Minister Benoit Charette said he will be among the marchers, but that the premier will not.
"I know that Premier Legault will have a busy schedule this day, and he knows that I will be there to represent the government, so the government will be represented," said Charette.
Liberal MNA Marwah Rizqy is unsurprised and unimpressed Legault will not attend the march himself.
"Mr. Legault never shows up when it's time," she said. "He has to rise to the occasion and right now, he's very silent when it comes to the environment."