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Major climate change rallies took place across Canada on Friday, drawing crowds of thousands of students who skipped class to protest the inaction that the government has been taking on climate change.

For these students, climate change is a fact of life that has now become a matter of urgency.

They were joined by youth activists such as the 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg in Montreal, while Canadian Indigenous teen Autumn Peltier is in New York at the Indigenous march and will speak at the United Nations on Saturday.

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The one thing I want to see our politicians do to tackle the climate crisis is take this more seriously. This is such an important matter and it may not be important to them, but this is our future and we need to see change and policies that matter.

— Abigail Bunn, 18, at the climate march in Calgary

christinne muschi/The Globe and Mail

The reason why I still have hope that we can solve the climate crisis is because it is purely a political problem. The technology is here, we need the willpower.

— Jordan Gerow, 23, attends the Climate March in Montreal

christinne muschi/The Globe and Mail

The thing about climate change that scares me the most is our dying ecosystems, our lack of fresh water resources, and the fact that I probably won’t be able to have children because... well our planet is going to die.

— Jane Randle, 21, at the Climate March in Montreal

christinne muschi/The Globe and Mail

The one thing I want to see our politicians do to tackle the climate crisis is to promise things they are actually going to do. Like cut down on emissions and do exactly what they promise. They need to do it or it is going to go so bad.

— Leila Parent, 20, attends the climate March in Montreal

Jeff McIntosh/STRJMC

I’m out here to show support and that it’s not ok. Things are way more serious than people think. It’s important to take action now.

— Haley Jacques, 18, at the climate strike in Calgary

Jimmy Jeong/The Globe and Mail

The reason why I still have hope is because youth are the catalyst and adults are finally showing up too.

— Naia Lee, 16, at the climate march in Vancouver

Jimmy Jeong/The Globe and Mail

The thing about climate change that scares me the most is that I won’t be able to offer my kids a world that is sustainable for them. And that they won’t be able to have their own future because of the choices I didn’t make.

— Rosadine Appelos, 21, attends the climate march in Vancouver

WERONIKA MURRAY/The Globe and Mail

There needs to be a bigger shift in diversifying the economy and in trying to move away from the dependency on fossil fuels in our communities and in our cities. There needs to be more education around climate change and what are some of the solutions. It’s important for me to be out here because living in the North we see first hand the impacts of climate change: the slumping, water levels, how the weather has changed in the last 20 years. We have 50 people here at the rally but there still are the other 3500 [in Inuvik] that need to show up.

— Jordan Peterson, 32, Deputy Grand Chief of the Gwich’in Tribal Council, at the climate march in Inuvik

WERONIKA MURRAY/The Globe and Mail

We need to rely more on renewable energy, and we need to stop using single use plastic. It’s important to me to be here because it helps raise awareness, and the more people come out, the better it gets. The thing that scares me about climate change the most is that the Earth won’t be livable soon. I want to keep our future bright, happy, and healthy. I still have hope because every day more people are learning about climate change and more people are trying to take action.

— Tessa Jenks, 12, from the climate march in Inuvik

More reading on the climate strike in Canada

Autumn Peltier, 15, to address United Nations about water issues in First Nations communities across Canada

Thunberg tells Trudeau that Canada is ‘not doing enough’ on climate change

Canadian kids should be able to sue over climate inaction

Facing the risk: Climate impacts that young Canadians will have to contend with

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