The Districts of North Vancouver and West Vancouver are the latest municipalities to declare a climate emergency, which they have our praise for. Of course, they are correct. There is an emergency, whether they declare it or not.
All that matters is what they do about it.
Not only does West Van have further to go than most when it comes to climate action, they have policies they are actively implementing today that undermine any effort. Halting bus rapid transit at their border over fears it would inconvenience drivers and cutting down hundreds of acres of trees for luxury housing come to mind.
The District of North Vancouver is not a heck of a lot better. Their official community plan dictates 35 per cent of trips should be made via active transportation, but the current council is opposed to building the kind of community that makes that possible. And in the very same meeting where they were patting themselves on the backs for declaring a climate emergency, they also made public a decision to cancel an affordable housing project that could have housed local employees. Rejecting that project means more commuters, traffic and emissions.
They may have to wear their hypocrisy today, but it’s the young people who will wear the consequences.
If our councils mean what they’ve said in their climate resolutions, they have to demonstrate with action. They cannot change directions on a Monday night because a group of residents are angry, they cannot drag their feet taking years to consult to arrive at important decisions.
The political blowback they may face today is nothing compared to the strife future generations will face as the winds of change grow ever stronger.
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