The Regional District of Central Kootenay has rolled out the next phase of public engagement for its climate action plan yesterday with the first of 20 open houses across the district held in Slocan Valley last night.
The open houses were postponed in May due to safety concerns for RDCK staff. In July, the RDCK announced that they were in the process of re-developing the public engagement portion of the plan after they received concerns that there wasn’t enough transparency and open communication between the district and residents.
The redesigned public engagement portion began in July with six webinars to allow residents in rural remote areas to access and engage despite travel and scheduling conflicts. The RDCK also hosted “dialogue circles” for select residents to attend and engage in meaningful dialogue with RDCK board members and staff about the climate plan.
A media release from the RDCK says that the open houses are meant to provide staff the opportunity to share with residents what they have learned so far during the webinars and dialogue circles and hear other concerns from residents to ensure that the climate plan fits the needs of everyone living within the RDCK.
During the dialogue circles, participants from diverse backgrounds revealed to the RDCK the urgency and importance of a collaborative effort with members of the community.
The media release said the circles revealed common themes and concerns from residents that included an interest in working together, the importance of having shared values, concerns about adapting to changing climate, the need to consider a rural perspective, and to ensure the plan includes clear communication.
They said that participants expressed concerns ranging from anxiety about climate change’s impacts to losing personal freedom, but also a desire to work together to shape positive change and contribute to a way forward those benefits all.
Staff also heard that residents have a desire to further investigate the reality of what impacts climate change and to develop a collective way to take action.
Residents also expressed concerns about developing a plan that understands the unique challenges residents in rural areas experience. The media release stated that staff and participants discussed ways to raise awareness about some of these challenges and channel it into meaningful actions.
The release also said the circles emphasized to staff that to maintain inclusivity, the plan needs to include clearer communication with simpler language, definitions and terminology to ensure all have clarity on what the plan is and how it will impact them.
Stuart Horn, RDCK’s chief administrative officer, expressed his appreciation to residents who attended a public engagement session this far stating in the release, “The dialogue circles have been incredibly valuable, fostering constructive exchanges and a mutual respect among all participants. The willingness of our community members to engage in meaningful conversations has been inspiring, and we are grateful for everyone’s active involvement.”
The open houses run until the end of October.
|CLIMATE ACTION OPEN HOUSES|
|August 24||4 – 7 p.m.||Slocan Park Community Hall, 3036 BC 6, Slocan Park (Area H)|
|August 28||4 – 7 p.m.||Hills Community Fire Hall, 4480 Highway 6, Hills (Area H)|
|August 29||5 – 8 p.m.||Creston Recreation Centre, 312 19th Ave N, Creston (Creston, Areas B & C)|
|August 30||4 – 7 p.m.||Salmo Youth & Community Centre (Gym), 206 7th St, Salmo (Area G & Salmo)|
|September 5|| 4 – 7 p.m.
|Wynndel Hall (Upper Hall), 5127 Wynndel Rd, Wynndel (Area A)|
|September 6||4 – 7 p.m.||Bosun Hall, 710 Bellevue St, New Denver (Area H)|
|September 7||4 – 7 p.m.||Balfour Hall, Charles Street, Balfour (Area E)|
|September 8||4 – 7 p.m.||Lardeau Valley Community Club, 13429 BC-31, Meadow Creek (Area D)|
|September 11||4 – 7 p.m.||Crawford Bay Hall, 16230 Wadds Rd, Crawford Bay (Area A)|
|September 12||4 – 7 p.m.||Yahk Community Hall, 8790 Railway Ave, Yahk (Area B)|
|September 18||4 – 7 p.m.||Brilliant Cultural Centre, 1876 Brilliant Rd, Castlegar (Area I)|
|October 2||4 – 7 p.m.||Castlegar & District Recreation Centre (Selkirk Room), 2101 6th Ave, Castlegar (Castlegar & Area I)|
|October 3||4 – 7 p.m.||Kaslo Legion, 403 Fifth St, Kaslo (Kaslo & Area D)|
|October 10||4 – 7 p.m.||Nakusp & District Community Complex (Auditorium), 200 8th Ave NW, Nakusp (Nakusp & Area K)|
|October 11||4 – 7 p.m.||Robson Hall, 3067 Waldie Rd, Robson (Area J)|
|October 16||4 – 7 p.m.||Taghum Hall, 5915 Taghum Hall Rd, Nelson (Area E)|
|October 17||4 – 7 p.m.||North Shore Hall – 675 Whitemore Rd, Nelson (Nelson and Area F)|
|October 23||4 – 7 p.m.||Burton Hall, 125 Burton Main Rd (Area K)|
|October 24||4 – 7 p.m.||Appledale Hall, Appledale Park Rd, Central Kootenay (Area H)|
|October 25||4 – 7 p.m.||Procter Hall, 262 2nd St, Procter (Area E)|