- The Montreal climate strike on September 27 will draw crowds of hundreds of thousands and will occupy a huge portion of the downtown area.
- In addition to a significant local impact, the historic demonstration will also have national implications.
- From traffic disruptions to a list of participating leaders, here's everything you need to know about the strike.
Today, Friday September 27, hundreds of thousands of Montreal residents will take part in a global strike to demand government action to combat climate change. The Montreal climate strike is drawing international attention because of its scale and the notable figures in attendance, including activist Greta Thunberg.
The strike will see a crowd of hundreds of thousands occupy a huge section of the Plateau Mont-Royal and downtown areas. As a result, the normal working days and traffic patterns of many Montrealers will be heavily disrupted.
Institutions across the city are also closing in solidarity with their students and employees.
September 27 will be a historic day in Montreal with important national implications. Just under one month separates the strike and the federal election on October 21. How politicians respond to the strike and their reception by demonstrators will likely impact their public perception and the trajectory of their campaigns.
From the route, to traffic closures, to participating figures, here's everything you need to know about the Montreal climate strike.
The march begins at Mount Royal.
The march begins at the Sir George Étienne-Cartier statue on ave. du Parc and will likely continue through the downtown, though the exact route is unclear.
Downtown Montreal is effectively shut down to traffic.
Several bus routes have been cancelled and moved. Highway exits are blocked and streets are closed.
Read our article here for a complete list of closures.
Most schools have cancelled class.
The Montreal public school board (CSDM) declared September 27 a pedagogical day in solidarity with the students who will be attending. Day care services are still running.
Most CÉGEPS and universities have also cancelled class for the duration of the planned march (12 p.m. – 4 p.m.), with the exception of McGill University.
Though McGill students are striking and the school's law faculty cancelled classes, the university decided not to disrupt its scheduled academic programs. However, the administration has asked that professors be accomodating to their absent students.
For a complete list of class cancellations, read our article here.
The metro and bus networks are free.
After the CAQ rejected a motion in the National Assembly to make public transit free in the city, Mayor Valérie Plante made the decision to eliminate fares across the entire STM network on the day of the strike.
Translation: I made the decision to offer free public transportation on the STM network this Friday the 27th September for the climate strike. We're waiting for you to be by our side for the future of the planet!
Greta Thunberg is leading the charge.
Teenage Swedish climate activist arrived in Montreal last night (reportedly in Arnold Schwarzenegger's car). Based on a photo she posted to Twitter, it appears she drove over the Champlain Bridge.
Her speech is expected to be the highlight of the event.
Hundreds of thousands of people will participate.
The mayor estimates that at least 300,000 people will take part in the demonstration. It is expected to be the largest climate strike in Canada.
Several political leaders are in attendance.
Including prime minister Justin Trudeau, Green Party leader Elizabeth May, and Québec Solidaire spokesperson Manon Massé.
Quebec Premier François Legault and federal Conservative party leader Andrew Scheer are not going.
Perhaps as striking as the number of notable figures that will be at the strike are the leaders who are skipping it. CAQ leader and premier François Legault will not march with Montrealers and is instead repotedly sending surrogates.
Participants are asking Justin Trudeau to stay away.
They argue that the climate strike is a demonstration against government inaction. As the head of government, they say, Trudeau is complicit in that inaction. Demonstrators worry that the prime minister will use the strike as a political prop ahead of the October 21 federal election.
Expect some very creative signs.
Around the world, student climate strikes have become famous for their visual presence. Creative posters take aim at government officials, corporations and climate change deniers with messages and imagery tailored for social media virality.
For a list of sign ideas, refer to our article here.
Mayor Valérie Plante will meet with Thunberg and give her a key to the city.
The mayor had previously lobbied for Thunberg to attend the Montreal strike. She also encouraged citizens to participate.
She has arranged a private meeting with the activist during which she will present her with the key to the city in recognition of her leadership and work for climate justice.
People are already complaining.
On social media, people have begun to complain about traffic disruptions and many climate-change deniers object to the very premise of the strike.
Stay tuned for updates.