Greta Thunberg says no time to go to Victoria, however many are nonetheless hopeful

Hopes are fading that teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg will be rowed across the Strait of Georgia this weekend to visit Victoria.

Greta Thunberg on October 12, 2019. @ gretathunberg / Instagram

Hopes are fading that teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg will be rowed across the Strait of Georgia this weekend to visit Victoria.

On Wednesday morning Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps received a letter from a member of the Thunberg team saying the activist could not come to Victoria.

“However, she will go on strike in Vancouver on Friday October 25th. We hope that you can join her and the other young people who air-condition on site, ”the letter says.

Helps said the city will respect Thunberg’s wishes and time.

“We wish her all the best,” said Helps. “She is an amazing person and she has gathered millions around the world to join this really important cause and I hope many of our youngsters will see her in Vancouver on Friday.”

17-year-old Victoria activist Emma-Jane Burian said she and four other “climate strikers” would carpool to an early ferry on Friday morning to take part in the climate strike outside the Vancouver Art Gallery.

“We are very happy that we can go and hopefully even meet her,” said Burian.

If she gets the opportunity to speak to Thunberg, Burian said she would thank her for all the great work she’s doing and say Thunberg that she gave her an opportunity to get more involved with the climate movement.

“We are very excited that it is in North America and so close to our location,” said Burian.

Although Burian admitted that she was a little disappointed that Thunberg is not coming to Vancouver Island, she said it was completely understandable.

“We live on an island that is not easy to get to, and only because its schedule has to be crazy. I know my schedule is insane and not half as bad as yours. “

On Tuesday, rumors circulated that Thunberg had stopped by Victoria because you could only get here by fossil fuel ferries.

Olympic gold medalist Adam Kreek immediately offered to row the teenager to Vancouver Island. But on Tuesday night, the 16-year-old Swede said in a Twitter message that she was unaware of the invitation and had not turned it down because of concerns about ferry emissions.

“I try to visit as many places as possible, but unfortunately there is not enough time to visit everywhere,” Thunberg wrote.

This Friday, October 25th, I’ll be joining the climate strike in Vancouver, BC!

11 a.m. at the Vancouver Art Gallery. #ClimateStrike #FridaysForFuture # schoolstrike4climate

– Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) October 23, 2019

A little later, Helps posted the letter that she, Saanich’s Mayor Fred Haynes and the organizers of Youth Climate Strike BC sent on Twitter last week so that Thunberg could see the invitation firsthand.

Yes. And I just posted a letter we sent on Twitter last week for her to have it firsthand! RT @tessvanstraaten: Clarification from Greta on all stories in circulation today @CHEK_News @BCFerries #ClimateStrike #ClimateEmergency #yyj @AJWVictoriaBC #environment

– Lisa helps – Victoria Mayor (@lisahelps) October 23, 2019

Others used Twitter, praising the beauty of Vancouver Island, and encouraging Thunberg to make the trip.

Even BC Ferries stepped into the fray, offering Thunberg a tour of one of its new natural gas ferries via Twitter, praising its plans for hybrid electric ferries for the next year.

Hello Greta, exercise is so important to you. #Climate change is the greatest challenge we face. We are working on a #CleanFuture. 5 #BCFerries run on natural gas and in 2020 we will be hybrid electric with 2 new ferries and plans for 4 more. Welcome to BC & thank you for what you do. 1/2

– BC Ferries (@BCFerries) October 23, 2019

“Greta is obviously inspiring,” said Helps. “But the most inspiring thing for me is how the community came up with innovative solutions in a very short time, which is what the Victorians say. People wanted to row them here. We even had people who offered to take them from the ferry to the city center on horseback or by bike. “

Kreek and his wife Rebecca Sterritt, who came up with the idea of ​​rowing Thunberg and her team from Vancouver to Victoria, aren’t quite ready to throw in the towel just yet.

Sterritt said she and Kreek are still hoping Thunberg could change their minds.

“Even last night we started reaching different friends in different local First Nations groups who also row. We think of the potential for different groups to come out and greet Greta. It could have been a very special event. It could have brought many different communities together.

“I hope, if not this time, that she comes the next time she is in the northwest.”

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