Last night Castlegar City Council voted yes to join the growing number of cities who are committed to transitioning to 100% renewable energy no later than 2050.

The passed motion is: “City Council of Castlegar is committed to working towards 100% renewable energy in all energy use sectors in the community including heating and cooling, transportation, electricity, and waste management no later than 2050. The Mayor and Council of the City of Castlegar request that the City of Castlegar staff collaborate with other local governments, and community stakeholders in the region as well as leading experts to develop a plan for this transition by December 1, 2020.”

Last night was emotional for me. I grew up with a sister who has always had a difficult time feeling included and fitting in. In grade 8, I had an experience where I was excluded from some of the people closest to me and while that was hard for me, it allowed me to truly empathize with my sister. From there on, I decided that anyone that was a part of my life needed to accept my sister, and that any group I was a part needed to be inclusive and create a sense of community.

This is why creating inclusive communities is so important to me and why I am so excited for the community of Castlegar.

Making a commitment to transition to 100% renewable energy is leadership in creating a sustainable economy, strong green careers, and a commitment to healthier, safer and more inclusive communities.

Over 50 people from the Castlegar community came out to the council meeting last night to show their support, and it was amazing to see the community come together for this moment.

Our Castlegar volunteer team has included people from diverse groups and of all ages. Vietnamese and Indian students from Selkirk college; mothers, fathers and grandmothers concerned for their kids’ and grandkids’ future; high school students concerned for their future and the future of their friends; Celgar employees; and active members of the Castlegar community.

Our amazing volunteers have had thousands of conversations in Castlegar to educate people and build understanding of and support for the transition to 100% renewable energy. To finally see that their hard work has actually made a difference in their community has been inspiring.

Marina has been volunteering with the 100% renewable energy campaign for over eight months now and has been there at every single Wednesday team meeting.

“Now that I am retired I can devote more time to issues that have been of deep concern to me for over thirty years. It is my hope that my grandchildren and their grandchildren, in fact all peoples, can live in a sustainable world. The EcoSociety has provided a much needed vehicle for me and my community to come together and encourage our local leaders and the community to move forward in making change. We are revising our attitudes, policies and choices around 100% renewable energy, and this is helping me move forward and feel hope.”

The volunteer team and community feel stronger and have more hope now than ever. Let’s begin our next steps by celebrating Castlegar’s leadership on the transition to 100% renewable energy for their community.

– Natasha Edmunds, Community Organizer