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2023 round-up from across our network of Community Climate Hubs

· Public Participation

Here's a special end-of-year news round-up from across our network of Community Climate Hubs.

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9 new or reconnected Hubs!

  • This year, we connected, re-connected, and helped build 9 new Hubs into our network. We partnered with the Scarborough Environmental Association, Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley, Biodiversity and Climate Action Niagara, Sustainable Orillia, Environment Lethbridge, Sustainable Milton, and the Manitoba Climate Action Team, welcoming each of them into our network of Hubs. We also helped start Hubs in Surrey, Fredericton and Fraser Valley. All together, these new groups represent and organize over 30+ municipalities to work to improve their local climate action.
     

Civic engagement

  • Countless rallies and protests attended
  • Over 50 educational webinars and meetings held by both Hubs and Climate Reality Project Canada
  • Including 15+ Regional Community Calls and 3 Climate and Affordability Webinar Series calls, many of which you can find on our Hubflix 
  • The Sault Climate Hub and the West Kootenay Climate Hub consistently put out great webinar series


Impactful campaigns


Zero Carbon Step Code BC Campaign

  • Since May 1st, around 20 municipalities and regional districts across British Columbia have opted-into the adoption of the ZCSC. At least 4 of these have been directly as a result of the work Hubs on the ground have been working on, including Colwood, Nanaimo, and Rossland, with more in the works for the next few months. You can read more about the Nanaimo Hub’s leading advocacy wins in this campaign in our blog.

Affordable Housing and Bike Lane Expansion in Calgary

  • The Calgary Climate Hub hosted two advocacy training sessions to prepare members of the Hub and the public to delegate at council meetings pertaining to affordable housing and funding of active transportation networks in the city. Both affordable housing and $40Mil funding of active transportation networks progressed, with folks from the Hub speaking each time, connecting justice and accessibility as pillars of climate action.

Budgets and Strategic Priorities

  • Many Hubs were focused on budgets this year, as budgets are where cities mark their priorities. The Saskatoon Climate Hub successfully spearheaded a coalition of 12 organizations to write and present a letter to the Saskatoon council during their budget consultation period in November. They have paved the way for further consultation with the city staff on the Low Emissions Community Plan.
  • During the summertime, Winnipeg was discussing what their new strategic action plan for 2024-2027, which influences the subsequent budgets. Members of the Climate Action Team advocated hard to have the Winnipeg’s Community Energy Investment Roadmap (CEIR) to be implemented within the strategic plan. The team was successful in getting CEIR to be listed as a key supporting document for the strategic action plan.

No New Gas Plants

  • In both Thorold and Halton Hills, the municipalities’ councils both voted to reject project proposals to building new gas plants in their regions. We are lucky to have learned about the efforts in Thorold during our October Ontario Community Call from members of the organizing effort against the plant.

Air quality monitors installed in Langford

  • The Greater Victoria Climate Hub worked with a variety of stakeholders including citizens, councillors, and municipal staff to get an air quality monitor installed in Langford. After weeks of hard work, they were successful! You can see the live-monitoring in Langford here.

Hubs Supporting and Urging Stronger Climate Action Plans

  • The West Kootenay Climate Hub worked hard this year to depolarize the topics of climate change. After charged open house meetings held by the Regional District of the Central Kootenays (RDCK) threatened to postpone their climate plan’s success and implementation, the Hub organized to rally people in their community to show support for the plan. They collected over 900 signatures that indicated support of the plan, and showed interest in further consultation and strengthening of the plan. Their impact allowed these open houses to shift from inflammatory to nuanced, from defensiveness to curiosity. Thanks to the Hub’s work, the district knows there is regional support for the plan, and will be able to more confidently implement strong climate action.
  • The Oakville Climate Hub worked hard this year in delegating to council and urging both the regional municipality of Halton, and the municipality Oakville, to take climate more seriously by setting more ambitious targets.
     

Networking events

  • We had many Hubs do the essential work of building up our communities and creating networking spaces for people to learn more about climate, meet likeminded people, and build better climate communities together. The Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley held a wonderful conference on accelerating climate action inviting students, industry workers, non-profit groups, tourism representatives, and municipalities to discuss how the community can work on climate action. The EnviroCollective in Regina held its second annual Sustainability Expo kicked off hosting more than 30 vendors and community action groups for the public to tour and get to know. The Expo also featured a Repair Café for the first time, asking residents to bring in small electronics, appliances, and bikes for repair, with skilled seamstresses on hand to mend various items. The Manitoba Climate Action Team, building off of a season of the Consider Climate Campaign – which included an election forum – hosted a holiday climate social event in which 200+ gathered.