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Election 2022: Nelson’s all-candidates’ forum on the climate and environment

Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
By Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
September 22nd, 2022

The first public forum in Nelson since before the pandemic began has been announced.

For the first time in over three years people can gather and form opinions — in person — on the next list of hopefuls for city council and the mayor’s seat.

On Wednesday, Oct. 5 (7 p.m., Nelson United Church) local  groups “concerned with planetary health” have come together to stage a Nelson all-candidates’ forum on the future of the climate and environmental action in the city.

The groups — the Nelson Chapter of Council of Canadians, West Kootenay Climate Hub and Nelson Doctors and Nurses for Planetary Health — are giving people a different look on the candidates for the Oct. 15 municipal election.

“Selecting the representatives to advance Nelson’s climate plan, ‘Nelson Next,’ is crucial to our community’s response to the environmental crises,” said Keith Wiley, from the Council of Canadians, in a press release.

And the forum will be the best venue to get a first-hand view and question the candidates on their platforms, added Dave Gregory from the West Kootenay Climate Hub.

“We want to hear from the candidates that they are ready to make real progress on reducing emissions in our community,” he said. “It’s our responsibility to our families and to the world.”

The one thing connecting the issues is climate change, said Judith Fearing from Doctors and Nurses for Planetary Health. Reversing it is the root cause of many of the societal and economic ills facing Nelson right now.

“It’s in our faces, and in our lungs, again this year. The increase in wildfires caused by climate change is one of the  biggest health threats right now,” she said.

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