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LETTER: Call to attend, not disrupt, RDCK climate meetings

West Kootenay resident Joanne Miller shares frustration over climate meetings
The Regional District of Central Kootenay board office in Nelson. File photo

I appreciated the message in Diana van Eyk’s August 31 letter to the editor. I too have been paying attention to the effects of climate change for decades, as well as the political changes that have taken place in recent years. I always hope that we, the working class, can find a way to work together for everyone’s best future.

Recently I heard about some unproductive disruptions that took place at RDCK Climate Plan open houses.

I have had complaints about certain government actions over the years, and participated in my share of protests. When I read about the RDCK having public gatherings to share the climate proposals that have been developed after receiving participation from residents and inviting comments and suggestions from my neighbours, I saw that as an example of grassroots democracy. We need more of that.

It seems other members of my community view it quite differently.

I believe that having a true democracy is the best chance we all have to a decent life, and know that the best way to achieve that is for citizens to participate in a positive, constructive way. We have the right to criticize governments when they are not working in our best interest but we also need to be supportive when they try to. I don’t understand disruption without productive discussion being allowed to happen. That just deprives me and others who have legitimate concerns from participating in the democratic process.

Unfortunately, I hear way too often from community members that they don’t pay attention to anything “political” and ignore meetings involving various levels of government. So instead of the RDCK hearing ideas and input from residents who have real concerns about the effects of climate change, they hear from a minority group of loud people who manage to distract from the agenda of open house and round tables with no productive outcomes. That gets us nowhere.

I will attend the open house in my area and urge all my common sense neighbours to do the same, because your input is really critical to let our local government put a plan in place that protects the future for everyone.

Joanne Miller

RELATED: RDCK releases climate plan open houses schedule

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