As a parent weighing the risks of my children playing outside in the forest-fire smoke against the risk of staying inside and going crazy, I’ve thought many times this summer, “couldn’t we have avoided this?”. Certainly forest fires are part of the natural rhythms of life. And proactive forest management could have averted some of this year’s catastrophe. But we, collectively, could do so much more to tackle the climate crisis.
We are slowly but surely getting better walking and cycling facilities in Castlegar. We must transition to renewables, and Castlegar should join the Renewable Kootenays campaign. But we also need our policy-makers at the provincial and federal levels to maintain a longer-term view. A system of proportional representation allows policy-makers to take a longer view because they’re less beholden to the whims of swing ridings. Under proportional representation, we all get better and stronger voices. Voting “Yes” in this fall’s referendum could be a vital step toward my children being able to leave the windows open and breathe easily the clear summer breeze.