London, LA, Vancouver and Halifax are among the cities and towns around the world that have declared climate emergencies.
The town of Sackville may be next to follow suit.
Councillor Bill Evans is expected to present a motion at next Monday’s council meeting to have the town declare a climate emergency. Evans expressed interest in making the declaration following a global day of action last month that saw hundreds of youth in Sackville take to the streets and raise their voices in urgent protest, urging political leaders to tackle the issues related to the climate crisis.
“They were showing concern about the climate change crisis we find ourselves in,” said Evans.
One message he said he heard loud and clear was how the students feared for the future of the planet and how the generations who came before them have failed to act.
The students called upon the Town of Sackville to recognize the seriousness of the issue, particularly since it is a community vulnerable to rising sea levels, and declare a climate emergency. They also asked the town to review and update its 2010 Sustainable Sackville plan.
Evans said he thinks council can show leadership on this issue by taking the students’ demands seriously.
Fellow councillor Shawn Mesheau, however, argued that these types of symbolic gestures don’t amount to much.
“I think we really need to dig deep here and do some heavy lifting,” said Mesheau.
Rather than putting forth a declaration motion, he suggested council and staff should start bringing more tangible ideas forward that will produce results.
Evans agreed that greater actions are needed but pointed out that the declaration motion will at least provide a step forward in stressing the urgency and raising awareness of the issue.
It is expected another motion will also be presented at the meeting, calling for a revision of Sackville’s sustainability plan.