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Canadian News Feb 5, 2020 11:14 AM EST

City of Edmonton had children listen to Extinction Rebellion activist on climate change

The City of Edmonton had children listen on numerous occasions to Extinction Rebellion activist Chris Gusen on climate change and Greta Thunberg.

City of Edmonton had children listen to Extinction Rebellion activist on climate change
Nico Johnson Montreal, QC

This article was published more than 1 year ago, information might not be up to date.

The City of Edmonton had children listen on numerous occasions to the Extinction Rebellion activist Chris Gusen on the topics ranging from an “Albertan Green New Deal” to environmental activism during Edmonton’s City Hall School initiative.

A source revealed to The Post Millennial that Gusen spoke to these children—who are all in Grade 6—about how to engage in climate activism, why Alberta needs a Green New Deal, and also taught the children about Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.

Children were so concerned about the state of the planet after Gusen’s talk that one grade 6 student wrote him a letter, saying, “Thank you for telling me about climate change, I feel earth’s pain.”

As well as this, a tweet from Edmonton’s City Hall School initiative shows Gusen teaching student’s about Greta Thunberg, telling the children that they should meet with her when she visits the province.

Gusen is a prolific organizer with Climate Justice Edmonton and Extinction Rebellion, and is vocal with his criticism of Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party in Alberta.

On Twitter, Gusen has stated that policy from the United Conservative Party is “indefensible.” Gusen has also declared that the UCP promotes “conspiracy theories … they don’t have any real arguments left to make.”

Gusen has also retweeted messages with statements like “climate activists … are scared for their lives.” His own tweets contain statements like, “Jason Kenney wearing that ‘I heart mass extinction’ hoody to the Grey Cup was extremely metal.” This came after the Alberta Premier chose to wear a hoodie with the statement “I love Canadian oil and gas” to the CFL final.

Speaking to The Post Millennial, Gusen said, “I have done class visits to the City Hall School program in Edmonton. I’m one of the wide range guest speakers who talk to students about active citizenship. I talk about my work advocating for climate action.”

“Climate change is a topic that’s covered in the Alberta Education Curriculum. Teachers can request that their students’ City Hall School week includes a speaker on that topic. I’m one of the people who gets invited in to talk about it,” Gusen added.

In October of 2019, Gusen was a part of the cohort of environmental activists who blockaded a major bridge in Edmonton during rush hour, causing chaos for Albertan commuters. Police say they were investigating this blockade at the time.

Gusen at a environmental activist demonstration.

In defence of his actions, Gusen told the National Post that “September’s climate marches showed us that Canadians demand action … Politicians and media have acknowledged the crisis, but they are not telling the truth about the enormity of the climate emergency.”

Speaking to The Post Millennial, Edmonton city councillor Jon Dziadyk was concerned and said, “Children should be provided with balanced material on a subject so they can form a balanced opinion. I am not seeing that here. If they are fed a diet of only one idea and starved from hearing others, then that can make critical thinking difficult and that is a disservice to our children.”

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