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B.C. Municipal officials reject divisive legal action in favour of collaboration on climate change action  



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Resource Works

At the recent Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) annual convention, local elected leaders from around the province endorsed resolution B135, a motion put forward by Fort St. John calling for municipalities to work collaboratively with industry to address the challenges posed by climate change and recognizing the importance of B.C.’s resource industries.

Meanwhile, the delegates voted against a proposed motion from Port Moody (B137) calling on the province to pass legislation holding energy companies financially liable for costs related to climate change, while the City of Victoria withdrew a motion (B136) calling for consideration of class action lawsuits against energy companies.

“These are historic votes of confidence in the ability of British Columbians to work together to resolve the challenges presented by climate change, and a rejection of divisive legal action,” said Stewart Muir, Executive Director of Resource Works. “Today’s votes send a strong message that B.C.’s mayors and councillors get that launching legal action against energy companies is not just ineffective grand-standing, but can prove costly and acrimonious. Instead, B.C.’s municipalities are ready to sit at the table with all stakeholders, including oil and gas companies, to move together towards a low-carbon future. Energy companies operating in Canada are already leading the world in innovating new ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and collaboratively take on the challenges presented by climate change, and can be partners in this important work.”

Background

  • In February, Fort Saint John city council passed its resolution for consideration at municipal associations in response to a growing number of municipalities across B.C. sending letters to energy companies demanding they help pay for the costs of climate change and a proposed UBCM resolution from Victoria City council calling for a class action lawsuit.
  • In April, Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps backed away from her support of climate lawsuits in favor of more expeditious and collaborative approaches to addressing climate impacts.
  • In May, the North Central Local Governments Association (NCLGA), which represents over 240 officials from 40 local governments in northern B.C., approved the Fort St. John resolution which was then forwarded to UBCM for provincial-wide consideration.

About Resource Works:

Resource Works communicates with British Columbians about the importance of the province’s resource sectors to their personal well-being. It demonstrates how responsible development of British Columbia’s resources creates jobs and incomes throughout the province, both directly and indirectly, while maintaining a clean and healthy environment.

And Resource Works explores the long-term economic future of British Columbia as a place that depends on the responsible development, extraction and transportation of the province’s resources.

SOURCE Resource Works



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