The BC Climate Action Charter, and various environmental initiatives the Town of Golden is committed to, was a major topic of discussion in council chambers during the regular meeting on Jan. 22.
The discussion opened up when Manager of Strategic Initiatives, David Love, informed council that they had the opportunity to engage in energy and emissions reduction training with Dale Littlejohn, executive director of the BC Community Energy Association.
The training was originally intended for the Select Committee on Community-wide Energy and Emissions Reduction, but since the committee has yet to be formed, it is now available for council and staff.
Coun. Keith Hern opposed the proposal, given that he had a presentation further down on the meeting’s agenda, proposing the Town withdraw from the BC Climate Action Charter, and disband the Select Committee on Community-wide Energy and Emissions Reduction.
Many councillors were reluctant to take a stand one way or the other, as there was not enough information regarding the net benefits, and net costs belonging to the charter.
“The Climate Action Charter does nothing to improve air quality in Golden,” said Hern. “Not only are the costs significant, but the staff time to implement the programs is also significant.”
Hern felt Golden would see a greater benefit if funds were redirected to the Golden and District Air Quality Committee, and the Wood Stove Exchange Program.
Tensions arose between Hern and Love, whose department is responsible for implementing those programs. Love reacted when he felt Hern was inferring that he had been misleading council and the public about the complexity of the issues.
Council decided not to vote on Hern’s resolutions until adequate research into the charter and its impact on Golden, could be done.
“I’m not convinced either way is better, but we need more education,” said Coun. Chris Hambruch.
Council did, however, vote to bring Littlejohn to Golden for two consecutive days of training in March, one of which will be open to the public. Hern was opposed.