B.C.’s government believes a healthy environment could and should go hand in hand with a healthy economy and has enlisted the help of Tofino’s mayor to connect the dots.
Josie Osborne has been named to a new advisory council tasked with helping the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy find ways to reduce carbon pollution while creating sustainable economic opportunities and job creation.
“Being appointed to the Climate Solutions and Clean Growth Advisory Council is a real honour,” Osborne told the Westerly News. “For Tofino, I think it’s an acknowledgment of being on the frontline of climate change—quite literally, as a community surrounded by ocean on three sides—as well as the strong interest in climate mitigation and adaptation expressed over the years by the business community and elected leadership.”
The 22-member council includes representation from environmental organizations, industry, academia and First Nations. Osborne is one of two local government representatives to be invited onto it, along with Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach.
“What I am going to bring to the table is my own science background and experience as a fisheries biologist, a strong sense of ‘optimistic pragmatism,’ and a demonstrated ability to work respectfully and proactively with a diverse range of people and sectors,” Osborne said. “That being said, I am going to learn a lot and bring back new ideas and relationships back to Tofino and the region that we can call benefit from. I’m excited.”
A ministry spokesperson told the Westerly News, “Advisory Council members are leaders in their fields, chosen for their expertise and interest in advancing the clean development goals of the province.”
Environment Minister George Heyman said the council’s work will provide the building blocks for a new provincial climate strategy that tackles pollution while creating a healthy economic environment.
“I am thrilled with the new advisory council and look forward to receiving their input as we get B.C. on track to hitting our climate targets, maximizing related job opportunities, and protecting our province for generations to come,” Heyman said.
The new council’s co-chair Merran Smith, Executive Director of Clean Energy Canada, said she’s excited to get started.
“I look forward to co-chairing this council on climate solutions and clean growth. Those two priorities must go hand in hand for the government to succeed in cutting carbon pollution while making our province more affordable, competitive and prosperous. Our council’s mandate to provide not just advice, but accountability, is critical to turn good ideas into lasting results,” Smith said.