Environmentalist Emily Kelsall didn’t get global warming labels stuck to West Vancouver gas pumps— but she may be responsible for affixing the stickers to pumps across Canada.
The Collingwood School student’s initiative to outfit West Vancouver gas pumps with images of animals at risk of extinction won unanimous support from council Monday.
While West Vancouver can’t enforce a municipal bylaw, council is planning to take Kelsall’s cause to the Union of B.C. Municipalities meeting in September as well the Federation of Canadian Municipalities this June in the hopes of achieving Canada-wide — or at least province-wide — support for the project.
“We’ll do all we can to support this at UBCM,” pledged Coun. Mary-Ann Booth.
Coun. Bill Soprovich agreed.
“I hope it catches fire. It’s a great initiative,” he said.
Kelsall, a member of non-profit Canadian environmental group Our Horizon, saw the program receive support from longtime oil and gas distributor Mayor Michael Smith earlier this month.
“Do you actually have the stickers?” Smith asked. “Because I would be prepared to step out and put the stickers on my pumps.”
Smith spent 25 years with Imperial Oil and Exxon Mobil and continues to have contractual relationships with international oil and gas companies.
“I don’t think the industry would really have any violent objection to putting these stickers on. I can certainly confirm they can afford to buy the stickers,” Smith said.
The stickers are scheduled to adorn gas pumps in Berkeley, Calif. later this year and are under consideration in Ontario cities Guelph and Waterloo as well as several cities in California.
“We are effectively the last generation that will be able to do anything,” Kelsall said. “I know that these labels will help protect not only beautiful places like West Vancouver . . . but our planet.”
When addressing council in 2014, Kelsall described the labels as essential in shifting the consciousness of drivers.
“We can raise prices on gasoline and carbon contributing sources all we want, but we will only ever be putting stress on the value of what lies in our wallet,” she said.