Former Olympic rower offers Greta Thunberg a boat ride to Vancouver Island

Former Olympic rower offers Greta Thunberg a boat ride to Vancouver Island
Greta Thunberg is taking a gap year from school to travel to climate summits in North and South America.

Former Olympic rower Adam Kreek has offered to row Greta Thunberg over to Victoria.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said earlier Tuesday the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist had reportedly turned down an invitation to visit Victoria because it would mean travelling on a fossil fuel-powered ferry.

Helps said she and Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes, along with youth climate strike organizers Emma Jane Burian and Rebecca Wolfe Gage, reached out with an invitation to Thunberg.

“One of my councillors was kind of checking in with her team and had heard she wasn’t going to come to Victoria because there’s no way to get here without burning fossil fuels,” Helps said.

“And I think way to go. She stands on principle.”

According to Helps, when that word got out, Canadian rower Adam Kreek offered to row Thunberg from Vancouver to Victoria, and back. Kreek also attended the University of Victoria and attempted to cross the Atlantic with a team in 2013.

“I think the community is rallying behind her and behind the youth and want this inspired and inspiring young person here on Vancouver Island,” Helps said.

However, late Tuesday, Thunberg posted on social media that she did not know anything about a Victoria invitation and definitely had not declined “because of ’emissions’ from the public transport ferry.”

“I try to visit as many places as I can, but there’s unfortunately not enough time to visit everywhere.”

Helps then posted the invitation that was sent last week to Twitter. She also clarified that the earlier report that Thunberg wouldn’t travel on BC Ferries because of emissions wasn’t confirmed.

Kreek said he’s interested in bringing Thunberg over the Island because he is a father and he believes in the leadership of the youth.

“It’s fascinating and really inspiring to see someone of her age have a voice that cuts through all the chatter,” Kreek said.

Kreek said he’s also has a continued interest in combatting climate change. He’s involved in a campaign to save a 5.5-acre green space by the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria. He also chairs the board of a low-carbon initiative that connects small green businesses to small governments.

“From a personal standpoint, when you see a problem, it’s our responsibility to step and put up our hand and say ‘I can help out the way that I can,'” Kreek said about his offer to Thunberg.

“We can pull together to tackle climate change and we can all take action and move forward in a positive step.”

Adam Kreek said he is willing to row Greta Thunberg to Vancouver Island and back.

Helps also noted that BC Ferries is taking “progressive steps” with hybrid vessels and exploring electric vessels.

“To see them taking this kind of leadership, taking the climate crisis seriously, I think we will see transport that is at least hybrid and hopefully fully electric sometime soon.”

B.C. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver has also extended an invitation to Thunberg. She will visit Vancouver Friday to take part in what organizers say is a post-election climate strike.

Weaver says he has spoken to Speaker Darryl Plecas and he has agreed to allow her to address the legislature if Thunberg is willing.

Weaver says he’ll respect her decision, because she may find she’d rather protest on the steps in front of the legislature.

B.C.’s legislature is sitting this week, but it does not sit on Fridays.

With files from The Canadian Press


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