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Despite numerous Alberta city councils voting unanimously to declare states of emergency regarding the effects of climate change, Calgary has refused to follow suit, with some councilors essentially lambasting the movement for being alarmist.
According to the Calgary Herald, “When asked if there was interest in making a similar declaration in Calgary, Coun. Sean Chu laughed before saying there was no way he would let it happen.”
“No way whatsoever. Over my dead body,” said Chu, adding that “pea-cocking” over environmentalism arbitrarily worries people too much.
Councillor Ward Sutherland seems to share the opinion and said that he hasn’t heard anything about such a state of emergency being declared in Calgary.
“From my perspective, I think it’s overly dramatic and I certainly would not favour it,” said Sutherland. “The rationale behind that is simple, we do have an environmental policy that is one of the strongest ones in Canada, and we’ve been moving forward with many initiatives.”
Coun. Shane Keating and Ray Jones agreed, adding that it isn’t the municipal government’s job to act on such calls.
“We can take a number of actions to help the climate but I’m not sure that we’re the right political body to be coming out and declaring things like that,” said Keating.
“The cities that have heavy industries should be addressing it and Calgary does not have a lot of heavy industry,” said Jones.
Two other councillors are more willing to open discussions but have stood firm behind Calgary’s history of being environmentally ahead of the curve.
“Calgary has been the steward of water in Alberta, so we have been very aware of the impacts of climate and we’ve been doing everything we can to mitigate it,” said Coun. Jyoti Gondek.
“It would be an interesting conversation on council given that we’ve, unfortunately, pitted our oil and gas business against our climate goals. I’m personally of the opinion that they are not oppositional conversations to be having,” said Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra.