Okanagan Climate Hub has been busy with a series of campaigns and actions in your local area. As an Okanagan-wide community, we monitor and report on City Council activities throughout the large and small communities around the Valley. Increasingly, local governments and citizens are facing climate adaptation challenges, infrastructure needs, and planning issues all related to climate change. The Okanagan is a bioregion, an ecosystem, and a watershed. Nature joins us together in a North-South corridor that defies borders and boundaries. Let’s respect those guidelines and work together.
No Experience Required
Do something, you might get results; do nothing, you will not get results. No experience is required – I had zero experience in writing to council or staff, founding a climate group, organizing events.
What can you do?
Write letters to:
- the editor
- council (This page provides their emails)
Don’t leave it to one person to write, we need more people/groups writing in.
Thank staff or council if something good happens.
Council Meetings and Public Hearings:
- Find agendas for both here
- Attend council meetings in-person or online
- Attend public hearings in-person or online and speak
- help organize (graphics, wording press releases, ask what needs to be done)
- spread the word: post/share on social media; forward emails to friends/family/colleagues
Join groups and get involved:
- Kelowna Tree Protectors (KTP) Email at firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook Amazing group that has been around for a few years. It’s very important to have some groups focused on one topic only. It makes for a powerful voice when connecting with staff and council.
- Kelowna Climate Coalition (KCC) Email at KelownaClimateCoalition@gmail.com (or me at the Hub and I will connect you). KCC are pushing to get a climate advisory committee established, supporting councillors in getting a Climate Emergency Declaration passed, strengthening how council addresses *housing, *transportation, and *climate & environment (*three of council priorities for the current 4-year term.)
- Fridays For Future Kelowna (FFF) – youth group. Follow on Instagram and Facebook Email at Fffkelowna@protonmail.com General website
- KCC, KTP, FFF and Okanagan Climate Hub are working together collaboratively.
- BC Climate Alliance – to connect with elected officials at the provincial level, this a great group. https://www.bcclimatealliance.ca/
Penticton Declares a Climate Emergency!
- THAT Council adopt the 2022 Corporate Energy and Emissions Plan;and
- THAT Council adopt the following resolution, as follows:
- THAT the City of Penticton hereby declares that a climate emergency threatens our city, our region, our province, our nation, humanity, and the natural world and reaffirms its commitment to local climate action; and
- THAT Penticton City Council continues to support immediate actions to safeguard against the current and potential consequences of the climate crisis by implementing the goals and actions in the 2021 Community Climate Action Plan and 2022 Corporate Energy and Emissions Plan; and
- THAT the City of Penticton collaborate with the Regional District Okanagan Similkameen and other neighboring local governments to work towards achieving carbon neutrality within the region by 2050; and
- THAT the members of Penticton City Council commit to keeping the concerns of all community members, including vulnerable populations central to Penticton’s Climate Action planning process, and invites and encourages all members of the community to actively participate in order to advocate directly for their needs; and
- THAT Council shall continue to develop policy and demonstrate leadership that directs meaningful action on Penticton’s Climate Emergency Declaration; and
- THAT the City of Penticton commits to embed climate action into the City of Penticton budgeting process and planning documents; include climate action considerations in reports to Council; and report regularly to Council on progress and accomplishments, and
- THAT correspondence be sent to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, requesting that the Province commit to providing ongoing, persistent funding to municipalities to assist with climate action implementation. This funding must be commensurate with the scale and challenge the Climate Crisis poses for municipalities across British Columbia
Congrats to all the good folks in First Things First Okanagan and others in Penticton who championed for this!
Great News ! The Mayor and City Council in Vernon endorses a new Climate Action staff position !!
The Council of the City of Vernon has endorsed their 2022 budget which includes a new staff position to guide the implementation of the Climate Action Plan. These efforts will be realized through the City’s ongoing infrastructure program and the implementation of Vernon’s Climate Action Plan, which was endorsed by Council earlier this year.”
Message to the City of Kelowna Regarding the Official Community Plan
Okanagan Climate Hub recently penned a letter to the City of Kelowna regarding the Official Community Plan. Okanagan Climate Hub is writing to express general support for the 2040 OCP. Many of the policies are
positive and heading in the right direction, however, we did want to draw attention to
some policies that undermine the direction and general intent. Please read the full message using the button below.
McKinley Development Campaign
(from Kelowna Capital News) Despite the enticing offer of 250 acres of parkland, Kelowna city council shot down a proposal to allow a sprawling development near the city’s northern edge.
McKinley Beach was proposed and approved as a resort community mostly comprised of multi-family developments almost a decade ago.
That initial vision never came to fruition and the developer, Kinnikinnik Developments, was hoping to change course, offering the city the large chunk of parkland contingent on council’s approval of hundreds of single-family homes in the area. As stated by Councillor Loyal Wooldridge: “We have to do things differently and that means our behaviour has to change… Car dependency in areas like this is contributing to 60 per cent of our (greenhouse gas) GHGs and (this project is) further bolstering a car-dependant area of our community.”
At Okanagan Climate Hub we agree. That’s why we worked with a vocal group of sustainability activists, the Okanagan Sustainability Leadership Council, and Green Okanagan to oppose this move. Read a reflection about this campaign here.