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Shuswap Climate Action asks municipal candidates questions on climate

Group says local governments have large role to play so climate should be election issue
Shuswap Climate Action wants severe weather and climate impacts considered in the 2022 municipal election so has posted candidate answers to four climate questions on its website. (File photo)

You might wonder how much a municipal council can do about climate change. The answer is a lot, according to Shuswap Climate Action.

For that reason, the Shuswap Climate Action Society is doing its part to make sure voters are well-informed about Salmon Arm council candidate platforms regarding the climate crisis.

The society has requested answers to four questions on climate from the 11 candidates vying to fill six councillor positions as well as the three candidates going after the mayor’s chair.

For those candidates who have answered the questions, the answers are posted on the Shuswap Climate Action website,

“We are a non-partisan group; however, we also understand that municipalities, local governments, are on the front lines of climate impacts,” said Julia Beatty, society chair.

She said Shuswap Climate Action, also knows the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, has determined more than 50 per cent of greenhouse gases are under the direct influence of local government.

“So this puts them in a really good position to act on climate. In fact, it gives them a fairly large role when it comes to dealing with the climate challenge.”

She said the role ranges from preparing the community in terms of infrastructure that will be resilient to climate impacts, to adopting energy efficient building codes, to setting up land use strategies, to facilitating active transportation, and adopting better waste handling and agricultural practices.

“This municipal election is really important for people to vote for candidates who will be climate champions,” said Beatty. “We just want people to make sure they have a look at that, particularly if climate is one of their big concerns. Especially if you look around at other municipalities and their lack of preparedness. Climate impacts are becoming more severe and we’ve got to be ready for this.”

Read more: Climate change now considered one of top threats facing Canadian children: report

Read more: Video: All ages rally in Salmon Arm to demand climate action
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Martha Wickett

About the Author: Martha Wickett

came to Salmon Arm in May of 2004 to work at the Observer. I was looking for a change from the hustle and bustle of the Lower Mainland, where I had spent more than a decade working in community newspapers.
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