An Open Letter to all current candidates for the office of leader of the Government of British Columbia and the leader of the Opposition:
The BC Mayors Climate Leadership Council, which includes local government leaders from diverse communities located in all regions of the province, has a request that is significant but simple: make the transition to a lowcarbon society and economy a key and necessary part of your platform for improving British Columbia.
In September 2010, a number of mayors from large and small communities across British Columbia came together and agreed to form the BC Mayors Climate Leadership Council. The purpose of the Climate Leadership Council is to lead, mentor, and engage. The mayors represent award-winning local governments that have been recognized for their leadership in addressing climate change and creating sustainable communities. The mayors recognize that the transition to a low-carbon society and economy is an issue that transcends regional differences, partisan politics, and ideologies. We encourage you to capitalize on the current North American leadership position that British Columbia enjoys in the transition to a low carbon economy. Leadership that addresses climate change will help build a sustainable economy and can create significant employment opportunities in all regions across B.C. This will also build on an already strong movement that is positioning many B.C. companies to capitalize on global opportunities.
Most municipalities and regional districts in the province have signed on to the Climate Action Charter and have already added significant policies to their Official Community Plans and Regional Growth Strategies that focus on renewable energy, help build the green economy, and ultimately bring about a reduction in greenhouse gases. We have adjusted to provincial policies concerning the Carbon Tax and carbon accounting and we believe these are sound policies that will make our communities better and more resilient places to live.
Implementing the carbon tax and taking a leadership role in the Western Climate Initiative have been important steps and now is the time to build on that foundation.
As we approach 2012 much work is still required to ensure all local governments achieve carbon neutrality and your leadership in ensuring that happens is absolutely essential. Please make this crucial issue part of your platform.
We look forward to hearing more of your thoughts and policy direction. Any of the signatories would also be pleased to assist in any manner that builds off the collaborative spirit that currently exists between the province and local government in order to ensure the province’s past leadership on climate change continues. Sincerely,
Mayor Dean Fortin Victoria
Mayor Gregor Robertson Vancouver
Mayor Dan Rogers Prince George
Mayor Richard Walton North Vancouver, District of
Mayor Darrell Mussatto North Vancouver, City of
Mayor Sharon Shepherd Kelowna
Mayor Charlie Cornfield Campbell River
Mayor Mike Bernier Dawson Creek