September 2018 monthly Meeting

Thu, Sep 27, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Schubert Centre - 3505 30th Ave

Climate Action

Fires, smoke, flood, drought and food insecurity are the new and worsening reality. The meeting sought to turn Climate Despair into Climate Determination, with a focus on acting together for a safer, healthier future (see Results, below). The Vernon Climate Action Group joined SENS to help facilitate the evening.

Tracy Guidi, Sustainability Coordinator of the City of Kelowna presented that city's Climate Action plan, followed by brief presentations by:

  • Laura Frank, RDNO,
  • Kim Flick, City of Vernon,
  • Mary Stockdale, Vernon Climate Action Group,
  • Keli Westgate, Sustainable Environment Network Society.

The meeting concluded with four roundtable working sessions where the presenters elicited ideas, from ¼ of the attendees at a time, as to what climate actions are possible, at the levels of:

  1. Regional District,
  2. City,
  3. Political advocacy, and
  4. Personal behaviour.
Political  —  Regional  —  Municipal  —  Personal
  1. Political

      1. We are doing well with:
        1. Vernon’s very good Official Community Plan
        2. Vernon’s transportation (some aspects):
          • Rail Trail
          • TDN/Active transportation on Vernon (bike lanes, transit);
          • Electric Vehicle station
        3. Communication:
          • SENS and their newsletter;
          • Vernon Climate Action Group and its listserve
            • politicians are listening to us more now
            • national climate plan
            • provincial carbon tax
      2. We need to do better here:
        1. Communication – all of us: share success stories with other communities and with our neighbours
        2. Ambassadors – grow a list of speakers, who can talk to groups about climate action
        3. Make retrofits happen locally (involve local businesses/politicians/neighbours)
          • keep growing the list of people who are actively participating in making climate action happen (1. engage youth and middle agers; 2. engage parents of young children by providing child care)
          • Pro Rep – vote “yes” as part of the solution!
      1. We are doing well with:
        1. Responding generously with/to neighbours etc. during disasters (e.g. the generous Vernon response to evacuees from fires in the summer of 2017)
      2. We need to do better here:
        1. Organize ourselves to show up at Vernon council meetings when the agenda has an item related to climate action – also, be proactive, offer solutions to Vernon council meetings
        2. Education … connect the dots whenever there are forest fires/floods/hurricanes partly caused by climate change
        3. Work to build in more natural resilience in our environment (e.g. healthy forests, watersheds, wetlands)
          • work to build in more social resilience (e.g. more social connections)
          • more effective use of social media
          • more programs for educating children (e.g. Allan Brookes Nature Centre programs – incorporate climate action component) — back to top
  2. Regional

      1. We are doing well with:
        1. recycling
        2. active transportation
        3. education & awarenes
        4. sollid waste management plan
        5. more partnerships
        6. master plans
      2. We need to do better here:
        1. curbside pick-up for organics
        2. urban trees
        3. awareness for business & public recycling
        4. more infrastructure for grey water
        5. LRT system for the Valley
        6. more uptake on recycling
        7. reduce footprint (size of homes) on ALR lands
        8. more frequent bus times
        9. even more partnerships
        10. bylaw enforcement
        11. extend bike lanes increase the network
      1. We are doing well with:
        1. better community conversations
        2. water conservation
        3. emergency response plan
        4. clean-up after floods
        5. maintaining creeks and lakes
      2. We need to do better here:
        1. not building on flood plains
        2. more education on how to adapt
        3. better risk management and mitigation risk — back to top
  3. Municipal

      1. We are doing well with:
        1. Urban containment
        2. OCP – neighbourhood centres
        3. Transportation plans
        4. One  high speed charging station for electric vehicles
        5. Infill development
        6. Bike paths
        7. Better transit routes and new buses
      2. We need to do better here:
        1. car share programs
        2. more busses
        3. more roundabouts
        4. Step Code faster
        5. 2nd high speed electric vehicle charging station
        6. grey water/effluent capture / use
        7. support the SIR program
        8. Incentives for green building
        9. shut off the lights
        10. flight paths & other noise levels
        11. electrify city fleet
        12. curb-side compost collection
        13. fruit/nut trees in parks
        14. collection of fallen fruit everywhere
        15. reduce construction waste
        16. avoid bike lane pinch points (they stop suddenly!)
        17. reuse/repair materials at landfill - CTR for this
        18. make 'illegal' suites easier (registrations/grants)
        19. facilitate more housing forms (tiny houses/carriage houses)
        20. city facilities with alternate energy + waste, transportation and HSG
        21. garbage collection on one side of street with smaller clear (refused if contains recycling) bags
        22. more community garden/orchard (temporary gardens too)
      1. We are doing well with:
        1. community consultation and engagement
        2. initiatives have positive economic impact
        3. Climate Action Task Force creation
      2. We need to better here:
        1. flood and fire mitigation
        2. water run-off re: impermeable surfaces
        3. dealing with people, plants, animal migration
        4. indoor playgrounds/walking tracks etc.
        5. climate change refugees
        6. much better tree removal bylaws
        7. community cohesion and social capital
        8. water run-off re: impermeable surfaces
        9. landscaping standards – xeriscaping, non-flammable plants, drought resistant trees/shrubs only
        10. integration of schools into neighbourhoods and with improved accessibility — back to top
  4. Personal

      1. We are doing well with:
        1. food sharing/2nd harvest…enactus
        2. curb-side giveaway
        3. 50 mile diet
        4. boomerang bags start-up
      2. We need to better here:
        1. consume less – be a minimalist
        2. engage with local government
        3. join SENS
        4. clearer instruction/education on recycling
        5. re-use bags more (refuse them/bring your own)
        6. clearer instruction/education on recycling
        7. encourage business to have recycle bins
        8. advertise boomerang bags & use them to advertise
        9. apply for available grants
      1. We are doing well with:
        1. xeriscaping
        2. increasing bike trips
        3. helping each other
        4. honest self-evaluation
        5. repair café – fix, don’t replace
        6. solar power homes
        7. go paper-less
      2. We need to better here:
        1. permanent space for repair café
        2. personal educational responsibility
        3. join councils / speak louder
        4. buy electric/hybrid vehicle – car share co-op
        5. remove fire fuel from property
        6. regular news stories (Morning Star) about programs/services
        7. get together more
        8. commit to a Zero waste lifestyle
        9. clean as you walk — back to top