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RDCK board needs to become climate literate in its decisions: Kootenay Freedom

Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
By Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
May 27th, 2024

Regional district directors need to become more climate literate and say no to grants and new hires before knowing the real cost, says one of the leaders of the Kootenay Freedom movement.

Karyn Shaundell, a Kootenay-based paralegal and researcher, spoke to the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) board of directors during a presentation on April 18. The group was not asking for money, it was appearing just to provide information that wasn’t part of the mainstream.

She urged directors that before making any decisions, actions or endorsements on anything climate related — grants, ideas, plans and feasibility studies — to become informed on the risks to Kootenay residents, and not basing decision on accepted science.

“Because these climate actions are based on unsettled science containing many erroneous claims,” she said.

Climate actions aren’t about climate but about economics and people are waking up to that fact, she added. Shaundell said the board should opt out of all climate driven actions and partnerships, instead take actions that reflect local resilience.

“It’s up to the directors to make climate literate decisions for the benefit of all residents, and that’s to not say ‘yes’ to endless grants and new hires without knowing the expected outcomes and benefits,” she said. “We need to get back to basics and regain control.”

An RDCK report in 2020 noted that 30 per of Kootenay residents live in energy poverty. Four years later it is worse, not better, Shaundell pointed out.

“Real energy resilience is having affordable options and not depending on any single source,” she stated.

Shaundell urged the board directors to become climate literate before moving forward on any project.


More to come …

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