Mayor John Dooley takes a time-out to grab a selfie with one of the 48 Chinese exchange students who visited city hall on Friday. Photo: Jake Sherman

Exchange students grill Nelson mayor on public transportation, climate change

48 Chinese exchange students presented questions to Mayor John Dooley in council chambers on Friday

Nelson Mayor John Dooley took time out of his busy schedule to take a selfie with a tween on Friday.

The tween was one of 48 students on exchange from China who sat in council chambers and presented questions they’d prepared for the mayor.

The foreign exchange students grilled the mayor on public transportation and climate change for some 20 minutes.

One student noted she saw a lot of cars on Nelson’s city streets, and asked the mayor how he planned to reduce the greenhouse effect.

Dooley answered that it’s difficult to change people’s ingrained patterns, but pointed to the city’s EcoSave program as an example of some of the policy city hall has implemented to try address the climate crisis.

The questions came immediately after the mayor met with local students who demanded the city take action on the same issues before they picketed just outside council chambers.

Dooley said it was interesting that students from across the world had the same concerns as those in the West Kootenay.

“You hear on the news about the pollution in China and the amount of coal-fired energy that they’re producing there,” said Dooley. “It sounds like they’re ramping up all the time. But it’s clear from this group here, these young people, that they are conscious of the challenges we face around the world.”

The foreign exchange students will spend eight weeks at Trafalgar Middle School.

The majority of the students are from Shanghai.

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Forty-eight Chinese exchange students assembled outside city hall before they met with Mayor John Dooley in council chambers on Friday. Photo: Jake Sherman

Mayor John Dooley answers a question from one of 48 foreign exchange students who he met in council chambers on Friday. Photo: Jake Sherman

Forty-eight Chinese foreign exchange students met with the mayor in council chambers on Friday where they presented him with questions on public transportation and climate change. Photo: Jake Sherman

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