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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – With the upcoming annual Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Convention, Mayor Lori Ackerman shares on her FB page her participation during the Convention.

The UBCM gives local municipal government leaders from across BC the opportunity to speak on issues that affect British Columbians.

Mayor Ackerman shares, that during her attendance to the convention she will be sitting on a panel talking about climate change, and how communities will deal with its associated impacts.

On the panel will be Mayor Lisa Helps of Victoria, Mayor Josie Osborne of Tofino, Caitlyn Vernon with the Sierra Club and Blair King, as well as Ackerman.

Ackerman expresses she sees the topic of climate change as an ‘often-polarizing issue’ and that she feels it is imperative to respond appropriately to this ‘multidimensional problem’ as the topic is at the forefront of the collective global conversation.

In her post, Ackerman goes on to share her perspective of the divide that has been taking place with lawsuits being filed by local governments, suing energy companies to pay for the costs of climate change.

“These lawsuits are the embodiment of a divisive approach that pits energy companies against municipalities and hardens age-old divides: rural versus urban, province versus province, right versus left,” a direct quote from FB post.

Ackerman expresses ‘collaboration must be at the centre of climate change strategy change’, to bridge the divide.

“Mayor Lisa Helps of Victoria has taken critical steps to do just that earlier this year when she revoked her support for litigation and began to explore alternative options to prepare her community to deal with the costs of climate change. Mayor Helps and I often represent the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to the divides I mentioned earlier – yet we both agree on the fundamentals,” posted Ackerman.

The panel discussion, we will delve into respective communities’ varying perspectives, shares Ackerman, to chart a consensus-oriented strategy to municipal action on climate resilience.

The Mayor goes further to share, the oil and gas industry is a major job creator for Fort St. John, and it also provides modern energy to the greater Province. The Canadian energy sector is one of the cleanest in the world, and it is constantly developing new technology to improve operational efficiency and leave a lighter footprint. This innovative culture should be encouraged and is critical in finding solutions to climate change.

“Vilifying an industry will not drive progress, and such a lawsuit would be neither time nor cost-effective. Government and industry must partner and work together to identify ways to address climate change. To achieve the best adaptation outcomes, we should engage in seeking solutions and the energy industry should be involved,” posted Ackerman.

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