The City of Chilliwack is holding a general local and school election on Oct. 15.
Today’s youth are curious, opinionated, and have great influence.
This is a time when an informed vote can make a critical difference in the decisions that are made at the local level that affect our quality of life and hope for the future, especially for young people.
An issue that is critical for young voters to consider is climate change, which has been described by the United Nations as “the defining issue of our time.”
Cities account for over 70 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions, making local decisions made by city councillors very important in the time-sensitive challenge to slow the progress and intensity of climate change.
How can Chilliwack city council take immediate action to combat climate change?
Finalize a forward-thinking climate action plan.
Chilliwack can implement higher steps of the BC Energy Step Code to encourage the construction of energy-efficient and airtight buildings beyond the requirements of the B.C. Building Code.
Chilliwack can follow the example of Vancouver and Victoria by restricting natural gas use in new home construction in favour of household equipment that uses clean and renewable energy, like heat pumps or induction stovetops.
Chilliwack can invest in a zero-emissions fleet (city-owned or operated cars, trucks, buses, and emergency vehicles) and associated infrastructure.
How can School District 33 take immediate action to combat climate change?
Buy and operate only zero-emission vehicles.
Require the construction of new schools to follow energy-efficient and airtight building standards beyond the requirements of the B.C. Building Code.
Eliminate natural gas connections in new schools.
Install solar panels on school roofs to generate electricity for the school’s needs, selling excess energy to BC Hydro to create a revenue stream for school expenses.
To parents and youth: Ask candidates their views and vote as if your lives depended on it.
Shannon Burnett and Tim Cooper
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