Members of local social and environmental groups say they will demand bold climate action at a climate change town hall meeting hosted by Kootenay-Columbia MP Wayne Stetski in Nelson on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Prestige Lakeside Resort.
Part of the People’s Climate Plan, citizens in Nelson are joined by others across Canada taking advantage of public consultations being held in the lead-up to the creation of a national climate strategy to be released in the fall.
“There’s no peeing section in the pool,” said Nelson city councillor Anna Purcell, who will present information on local impacts of climate change at the town hall meeting. “We’re all in this together.”
Organizers are calling for the national climate strategy to respect climate science and Canada’s commitments in the Paris Agreement by keeping the majority of fossil fuels in the ground, to ensure a plan to “transition to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050 with green jobs, and enshrine justice for all workers and indigenous communities.”
“I’m expecting a huge turnout, even on short notice because this community really cares,” said Montana Burgess, executive director of the West Kootenay EcoSociety. “The Prestige room will have capacity for only 300 people. There were 500 people at the Nelson climate action march in November, so you should arrive early if you want into the town hall.”
The community is also invited to a pre-town hall training and workshop today at 5:30 p.m. at the Nelson United Church, hosted by the West Kootenay EcoSociety, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, and the Nelson Interfaith Climate Action Collaborative.
“We’re going to do this Nelson-style,” said Laura Sacks of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Nelson chapter. “Not only will the community plan what they will say at the town hall and what they will submit in writing to the Government of Canada, but we’re also going to make art and develop stories to share for the town hall and send all the way to Ottawa with MP Stetski.”
“Last year the Nelson Interfaith Climate Action Collaborative turned out over 75 members of the faith community to discuss the moral imperative to act on the climate crisis,” said Pastor Katrina Vigen of Ascension Lutheran Church, a member of the collaborative. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Canadians to take meaningful climate action by having their say in our national climate plan.”
South Okanagan-West Kootenay MP Richard Cannings plans to host a similar town hall meeting in early July.