If Greta Thunberg happens to be in the western part of North America, Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps would like her to stop by Victoria.
“I don’t think a tweet constitutes an invitation, but my office will be looking to get in touch with whoever she is working with…to see if her travel plans are bringing her out West,” said Helps. “We certainly don’t want her to come here if she is not coming already. But if she is planning to come West, I would like the youth that I have been working with since January to have an opportunity to meet with her.”
Helps made the comments after sending out a tweet Sunday morning in which she wrote to Thunberg, “We’d love to invite you to [Victoria].”
We’d love to invite you to @CityOfVictoria RT @GretaThunberg: Yesterday I received the key to the city of Montréal by the mayor @Val_Plante I am incredibly honoured by this, and so thankful for the reception I’ve been given here in Québec! pic.twitter.com/cAP6rVpCxm #fridaysfuture
— Lisa Helps – Victoria Mayor (@lisahelps) September 29, 2019
Sixteen-year-old Thunberg has emerged as one of the faces of the global fight against climate change. The Swedish teenager started the Friday for Future movement with a series of solitary strikes outside the Swedish parliament in the summer of 2018. She and her movement gained additional global prominence with a series of speeches in late December 2018 and early 2019 before global audiences.
Helps said inviting Thunberg to Victoria is not just about raising more awareness about climate change in community, but is instead about giving the youth of Victoria — especially the group of youth that organizes a climate strike outside the legislature on the first Friday of every month — a chance to meet and draw inspiration from the passionate teen.
“Our community is very well-mobilized as is evident by the rally that we saw here on Friday,” Helps said. “These are really hard-working youth that are under-resourced, who are doing this off the side off their desks, and if the person who started this global movement is able to come and meet them, that would be so exciting for them.”
It is not clear what Thunberg’s travel schedule and plans are after she had joined hundreds of thousands of protesters to downtown Montreal during Friday’s march against climate change that also drew some 20,000 people to downtown Victoria. Thunberg had earlier
“If she is [heading West], I would like to make sure that she finds her way to Victoria, or know that she is welcome here anyways.”