Skip to main content

A British Columbia regional district has postponed a series of climate action open houses, citing safety concerns and fears of intimidation.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay in southeast B.C. said in a statement the open houses had previously been scheduled to take place from next week until July, but making the “difficult decision” to delay them was the only responsible course of action.

The postponement means adoption of the district’s climate action plan will also be delayed.

“We understand the disappointment this (postponement) may cause, however, we firmly believe prioritizing the safety of our staff, attendees, and the community as a whole is paramount,” it said in the statement issued Thursday.

The district does not describe the nature of the intimidation, but said its draft climate guidance plan has been the subject of online misinformation that had caused confusion and misunderstandings.

The news release disavows the concept of 15-minute cities as part of the plan.

The 15-minute city concept advocates placing community amenities and facilities close to where people live, but has been the subject of conspiracy theories that it’s part of a plan to restrict freedom of movement around the world.

Dan Elliott, communications co-ordinator for the district, said the threats were not directly related to the 15-minute city concept.

“We were just trying to add some clarification to some of the messaging that’s been shared across the public and social media. That seems to be a hot topic, so we just wanted to clarify that for some people,” Elliott said in an interview Friday.

He said some comments made online and at public events had caused concerns about safety, but he did not expand on what those threats were.

Elliott said the district is aiming to reschedule the open houses for next month.

The district’s statement said its board will not be adopting the climate action plan in August 2023 as originally planned.

“This decision aims to provide staff members with additional time to present recommendations for a revised timeline for public consultation,” it said.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

Follow topics related to this article:

Check Following for new articles