Some experts say the 2019 drought was the worst one since the Cowichan Weir was built in the 50's. Robertson River, below Honeymoon Bay Road. Supplied by Cowichan Lake and River Stewardship Society.
River tributaries are drying up, fish eggs are stranded, we are coming off back-to-back record-setting wildfire seasons and yet, some people still don’t want to acknowledge that we are in a climate crisis.
However, the City of Duncan has been clear about where it stands on the issue of climate change, as council recently declared a climate emergency.
Mayor Michelle Staples said the only way to combat this “very real” threat is to acknowledge that it is, in fact, happening.
“We’re in a state of climate emergency and we need to recognize that because the only way that we can decide to do something about it is if we acknowledge that it’s happening,” said Staples.
At the annual Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities meeting, municipal politicians from all over coastal BC voted in favour of sending a motion to the Union of BC Municipalities declaring a climate emergency.
The AVICC is made up of 53 municipalities and regional districts and includes the areas around Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii all the way down to the southern tip of Vancouver Island and includes Powell River and Langdale on the Sunshine Coast.
Staples said people need to stop debating that we’re in a climate emergency and take action.
“First of all, we need to stop debating whether or not it’s happening and just acknowledge that it’s happening and it’s happening quickly and it’s affecting all of us in different ways and it will continue to affect all of us in ways that aren’t yet completely known,” said Staples.
North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring said that the municipality has opted not to declare a climate emergency, instead, acknowledging that there is a climate emergency and addressing some of the things that North Cowichan is doing to address it.
CVRD board chair Ian Morrison has pointed out that the regional district has a policy that it does not engage in proclamations or declarations.