Moms, families and citizens “worried about the future of their children” gathered Sunday in Montreal, on the occasion of Mother’s Day, demanding significant action from governments in place to fight the climate crisis and its harmful effects on the next generation.

“It’s not chocolate and flowers we want. No, for Mother’s Day, we especially want political courage,” explains to La Presse one of the co-initiators of the Mothers at the Front movement, Laure Waridel, a well-known figure in the Quebec environmental movement.

His group invited families and friends to gather on Sunday at Frédéric-Back Park, in the Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension district, in the presence of several public figures, including Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, Salomé Leclerc, Évelyne Brochu , Ève Landry and Isabelle Blais, under the artistic direction of Brigitte Poupart.

After a musical show, a large artistic workshop was planned to create a “living picture” for the preservation of the environment. The event was to end with a flight of 500 kites bearing the image of the Mothers at the Front collective, with demands and childhood dreams on their backs. The kites will then be sent to elected officials in the coming weeks.

“We are calling for a real exit from fossil fuels, with an energy policy focused on sobriety,” says the general coordinator of Mères au front, Myriam Thériault. Its members also demand that a proportion of protected areas be reached at 30% per municipality.

“Today, the goal is to also remember that we are angry and that we are discouraged, but that we are also still together and that we are not going to give up. If not, what’s the other option? Leave an uninhabitable land to our children? We can’t do that as a mother,” the coordinator concludes.

Ms. Waridel especially deplores the fact that governments and even part of society “are still in denial today about the environmental emergency.”

“As a society, we often see the environment as something abstract, which will concern us later, while it already affects the food security of our children,” insists the woman who notably co-founded the organization Équiterre.

She is saddened “as a mother” that no greater political awareness is being raised despite the warning signals. “What we are asking is that all decisions be scrutinized for their impact on the environment. This would ensure that we would put forward the necessary measures to protect caribou, for example, and that we would invest massively in public transportation,” she notes.

In his eyes, Sunday’s gathering “is above all aimed at giving ourselves collective courage for the future”, adds the environmentalist. In addition to Montreal, the Mères au front collective also organized similar gatherings on Sunday in Saguenay and Quebec.

“Right now, there is a feeling that it is too late, that there is nothing more we can do. However, we know that each preserved natural environment counts, that each pollutant emission that can be avoided counts,” concludes Ms. Waridel.