Local activists tackled the question “What is the Green New Deal?” in a voting action evening, held in the Nelson United Church Hall on Dec. 5.
The one-page document they agreed on included just seven propositions, after a ranked vote process. While the Nelson statement cannot define the Green New Deal, since it is a national initiative, the local statement does represent the priorities of the Nelson group of over 30 people, most of them climate activists.
Eighteen propositions drawn from lists created by Green New Deal town halls held across Canada and in Nelson, were voted on at the meeting. “Uphold indigenous rights” took the most votes, followed by “Keep it in the ground.” Third-ranked was “Protect biodiversity and nature.”
Voting did not go entirely smoothly at the event.
“This isn’t fair,” one participant said. “I want to vote for all of them.”
In the end the group decided to blend several propositions together and increase the total to seven. The final statement was endorsed and signed by almost all participants. Some joined in a letter-writing exercise to federal and provincial politicians asking that the Green New Deal plan be acted on quickly to address the climate emergency.
“A one-page statement cannot be a complete plan for transitioning our economy and way of life to a survivable future,” said Keith Wiley, a Council of Canadians volunteer and one of the meeting organizers. “But it does paint some broad strokes on a big picture way to go forward and actually confront the climate crisis. The Green New Deal is about winding down our devastating impact on the planet, and doing it in a way that provides the most security and well-being for everyone.”
To download and sign the Nelson Statement go to the Nelson Chapter Council of Canadians page on Facebook.