A crowd of more than 150 people walked on Friday, Sept. 20 from the Ross Street Plaza, down Lakeshore, up to the highway and to city hall to gather to hear a number of speeches on climate action on Sept. 20, 2020. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

A crowd of more than 150 people walked on Friday, Sept. 20 from the Ross Street Plaza, down Lakeshore, up to the highway and to city hall to gather to hear a number of speeches on climate action on Sept. 20, 2020. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

Non-profit urges movement on Salmon Arm’s climate action plan:

City politicians on board but the need for grants can slow process

Shuswap Climate Action would like the City of Salmon Arm to do more climate action planning immediately and would like to support the city in the endeavour.

Frederick Vroom and Wayne Spencer, two representatives of the local volunteer group, addressed city council’s Feb. 8 meeting, noting that in the wake of its 2019 climate emergency declaration, the city should take bold action on transportation and buildings. Actions would include a stronger push towards active transportation, the encouragement of energy efficiency programs for buildings, and protection and enhancement of green spaces and trees.

“Our group is really about trying to connect people and bringing people together around this problem, and to make people understand climate change requires a sustained effort as a group, as a society – which includes the municipality but also residents and businesses,” said Vroom.

He said the group would like to collect information on innovations being used across the country and share them with the city.

Read more: Salmon Arm politicians urged to declare climate emergency, create action plan

Read more: Energy and emission report for Salmon Arm points to passenger vehicle use

Read more: Shuswap plastic bag ban to being July 1

Read more: 2015 – Landfill still filling fast

The presenters acknowledged the city has had several successes, such as the March 2020 Community Energy and Emissions Plan report, but it is still missing a comprehensive climate plan.

Five suggestions were emphasized: 1) prioritize development of a climate action plan; 2) add a designated staff member and a designated councillor as liaisons; 3) engage with Shuswap Climate Action and others such as BC Hydro and Fortis for expertise and help; 4) engage the community soon to get their feedback; and 5) show the city’s climate initiatives on the city website.

Regarding the website, Spencer said it’s really lacking in terms of showcasing the achievements the city has already made.

“We would like to help with more accurate up-to-date information on the city website any way that we can and we’d like to be able to link websites to inform residents of opportunities and initiatives.”

Spencer said many groups are starting to be concerned about their carbon output. He said while Larch Hills is very popular, the nordic society has approached Shuswap Climate Action, as society members have done carbon assessments on the hundreds of cars that arrive there.

“They’re very, very concerned about the footprint that is being generated in that once-pristine area,” Spencer said.

Vroom said the men will be presenting to all the municipalities in the regional district.

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

Read more: Thirty businesses on board with composting

Read more: Salmon Arm asks residents to think of the workers emptying their compost bins

Mayor and councillors expressed appreciation for the presentation and the group’s commitment.

Mayor Alan Harrison said he thinks it’s true the city doesn’t showcase its successes around climate action enough. He also pointed to the success of the city’s ban on single-use plastic bags, which was possible not because of a large outlay of money but because of the cooperation of citizens and businesses.

Coun. Tim Lavery said he is on board with the need for continued action and more education of the public, and has attended workshops on what local governments can do. He said he counts himself as a “climate sincere local politician.”

He took some issue with the group’s comparisons with other jurisdictions such as Kamloops, Victoria and Kelowna, noting that smaller local governments have severe limitations due to tax base to implement changes rapidly. He said he would like to talk more with the group about how the city handles its biggest sources of emissions as well as options for proceeding. He noted the city’s curbside food organics collection is reducing the city’s greenhouse gas emissions considerably.

Coun. Wallace Richmond noted that collaboration is key and she hopes the group will be visiting the regional district, business associations, the construction association, the MLA, the MP and others.

Harrison suggested Shuswap Climate Action also speak to the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society.


marthawickett@saobserver.net
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Climate changeSalmon Arm council

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vernon Search and Rescue, with help from the Air Rescue One helicopter out of Wildcat Helicopters in Kelowna, and Central Okanagan Search and Rescue, were able to transport an injured snowmobiler to Vernon Regional Airport, where he was loaded into an ambulance and taken to Vernon Jubilee Hospital with a serious, painful back injury. (Facebook photo)
Okanagan helicopter rescue teams called to retrieve injured sledder at Greystokes

Vernon and Central Okanagan Search and Rescue help load injured man into waiting helicopter

Chase RCMP held two men involved in drunken disturbances overnight in their detachment’s cells on Feb. 6. (File Photo)
Chase RCMP hold two men involved in drunken disturbances overnight

The two separate incidents took place less than an hour apart.

The District of Sicamous is trying to take over management of the Sicamous and District Recreation Centre . (File Photo)
District of Sicamous seeks management contract for hockey arena

The arena has been managed by a non-profit society since it was built in the early 1980s.

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Chase RCMP arrest intoxicated man running into highway traffic

The man was wanted on several warrents in Alberta; was held overnight but released

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Wills Hodgkinson, 10, and his mom Neeley Brimer get ready to battle round three of cancer. The community of Penticton has his back. (Submitted)
Community raises $21K to help Penticton boy battle third round of cancer

Okanoggin Barbers held the fundraiser on Saturday for 10-year-old Wills Hodgkinson

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
UPDATE: 70-year-old man killed in workplace accident at Baldy Mountain

The mountain closed on Saturday but has partially re-opened today (Sunday)

Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

Kamloops Fire Rescue battled a landfill fire which belched toxic smoke into the air on Feb. 27. (City of Kamloops Photo)
Fire at Kamloops landfill sends thick black smoke into the air

Firefighters made slow progress on the fire throughout the morning.

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Approximate location of the vehicle incident. (Google Maps)
Vehicle incident blocking Coquihalla traffic in both directions

Both directions of traffic stopped due to vehicle incident

Most Read