One of two debates ahead of the Nelson city council byelection will happen March 14. File photo

One of two debates ahead of the Nelson city council byelection will happen March 14. File photo

Climate change-focused debate planned for Nelson byelection

The event will be live streamed Sunday, March 14 at 7 p.m.

Submitted by Citizens’ Climate Lobby and Fridays for Future

Many youth can’t vote. They rely on their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles to become informed, get out and vote. So let’s do that this month for the Nelson City Council byelection.

Do council elections matter? When it comes to livable communities, a lot. Most of us know that local governments ensure we have a good supply of clean water, that waste is managed and fires are put out, and that you can walk or cycle safely through your neighbourhoods. So who serves on council has a big impact on our everyday lives.

There will be two candidate forums this month so that you can find out who is running in the March 27 byelection, and what kind of city they envision.

Fridays for Future (FFF) Nelson is organizing a candidate forum What’s Next for Nelson?, which focuses on climate solutions, that will be held on Zoom on Sunday, March 14 at 7 p.m.

“No other issue will have as much impact on what kind of city we have,” says organizer Jamie Hunter. “We still have the opportunity to make the right decisions and create a sustainable, liveable city that is doing its part to solve the climate crisis.”

Youth, most of whom are too young to vote, have been outside City Hall every Friday this winter reminding us about the urgency of the climate crisis. Attending candidate forums and voting is an easy way to help.

The March 14 forum will be organized around Nelson Next, the city’s plan to reach zero emissions by 2040. All of us should care about how candidates plan to get us there. There will be a brief overview of the plan, and then candidates will answer questions related to the city’s climate plan.

“We often underestimate the power of local governments,“ says Judy O’Leary, co-lead of the Nelson-West Kootenay chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby who are also helping to organize this forum. “The municipal level is where climate action is really happening quickly and affecting people’s lives right now. Local governments can affect 50 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions and play a huge role in how we adapt to our changing climate.”

There is another candidate forum this week organized by Nelson at its Best on Thursday, March 11. Please turn out to both so you can make an informed decision about who should run your city.

Register for the March 14 forum at bit.ly/nelson-byelection.