They referred to themselves as some concerned moms of Cumberland in a letter to the village. That’s not an official name though.
The group are friends and got together recently to push local government for more action on climate change, appearing as a delegation before council at a meeting in March. The village listed them on the agenda using the “some concerned moms” moniker.
“Anyone can join…. You don’t have to be a part of a special group to care about the planet Earth…. We are not exclusive,” member Genevieve Burdett told the Record.
Five of the group — Burdett, Elizabeth Lee, Lindsay Baker, Katie Lovely and Erika Spearman — appeared as a delegation at the meeting, though others who signed the letter included Sarah Falloon, Sarah-Jane Howe and Christa Petch.
Burdett points to a Facebook page called Climate Action Cumberland as a way for others in the community to get involved.
For now, the group is working with the village toward a climate plan. During the presentation and in their correspondence with the village, they asked for a comprehensive plan for not just the municipal government but the entire community to cut carbon emissions. One hope for the group is that the village could hire a staff person to focus on climate goals as well as work toward getting grant funding to help with initiatives. For now, the moms point out the village could apply for a community grant to hire a consultant to complete a climate assessment and action plan for Cumberland.
Part of the inspiration came from a couple of local youth who started working with the village on a Green New Deal over the past year. This includes commitments for the municipal government to cut emissions by 30 per cent by 2025 and 50 per cent by 2030.
Burdett says their group sees a more comprehensive approach for the entire community, though this could start with the official community plan (OCP). The village will be updating its OCP soon, and there is an opportunity, she says, to incorporate environmental elements into it.
“It’s often called an ‘integrated OCP,’” she said. “There’s lots of communities leading the way.”
As examples, she pointed to Courtenay’s current OCP review, as well as communities such as Hope, Rossland and Chemainus.
“We’re all concerned about climate change,” she said. “It seemed like an obvious first step.”
For a next step, council approved a motion at the April 11 meeting for staff to include a summary of of village and regional climate-related activities in quarterly updates, for the mayor to meet with a representative of the group about the plan and for climate action to be considered further during the 2023 budget and strategic priorities discussions.
“I think it’s a totally awesome initiative,” Coun. Sean Sullivan said, before making the motion.