The Regional District of Central Kootenay has postponed their RDCK climate action open houses due to safety concerns.
According to a media release the open houses were scheduled to take place May 23 to July 5 and are meant to give residents the opportunity to voice questions and concerns on the district’s four-year climate action plan.
RDCK chief administrative officer Stuart Horn says he apologizes for the inconvenience but cancelling the open house is the responsible course of action.
“The decision to postpone them at this time is due to some safety concerns around our staff and attendees at the meetings,” he says. “This is based on some commentary we received online and some conversation from people who were planning on attending the meetings.”
Horn also emphasized that the safety of staff, attendees and the community is the RDCK’s top concern.
“We understand the disappointment this announcement may cause; however, we firmly believe prioritizing the safety of our staff, attendees, and the community is paramount. The RDCK’s intention is to have a fulsome consultation process and the open houses will be rescheduled as soon as possible.”
Horn says the RDCK is not cancelling the open houses altogether and hopes that they can use the time to prepare properly.
“We are going to try and use this as an opportunity to make sure that we are properly planning the engagement process because of the feedback we have received to date,” he says. “We value the input from the public and want to ensure all members of the community have a chance to participate without the fear of intimidation.”
RDCK board of directors have also decided against adopting their Climate Action Plan that was scheduled for August of this year, allowing staff more time to present recommendations following public consultation.
Horn says although more time is needed to formulate a plan, they are hoping to have a new schedule soon.
“We hope to have a new schedule set within the first couple weeks of June,” he says.” We are by no means planning on delaying this by 6 months, we are looking at getting this going as soon as possible.”