The NPCA Needs Real Leadership on Climate Change
This petition made change with 295 supporters!
The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) must be a leader in mitigating and adapting to the realities of climate change.
Last year, the 18 board members (now 21) that comprise the governing body of the NPCA elected Dave Bylsma to the position of Chairperson, tasked with giving the authority direction by setting the agenda and acting as the front-line representative to the public, among a host of other responsibilities. Bylsma's resume would suggest his qualification for this role: he has served as a Councillor in municipal government, and is the current Mayor of West Lincoln.
Bylsma is one among several new members to the board at the NPCA, which has recently undergone major changes to fix a long legacy of corruption. For those who have followed this case closely, the sweeping new membership has come as a welcomed reform to the authority's governance. But there is still one major problem: David Bylsma rejects the science of climate change.
As party member and national president of the Christian Heritage Party (CHP), Bylsma has stated publicly that CO2 emissions do not pose a threat to the environment, and that the science of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (the largest global collaboration of climate scientists) is illegitimate. From the CHP 2019 Platform: "CO2 is a natural beneficial gas, not a pollutant; CO2 as the cause of climate change is an unproven theory." (See the link for full platform: https://www.chp.ca/about/2019platform/
Many of the 36 conservation authorities in Ontario have taken a bold position to confront the challenges of climate change. So have the municipalities here in Niagara (they have recently collaborated with Brock University to conduct research to better understand how Niagara can adapt to a changing climate). The NPCA should be in line with these perspectives and be actively working to construct strategies for dealing with climate change that are appropriate to its mandate.
We call upon the board members of the NPCA to elect a new chair; someone who is in touch with the realities of a changing climate, and with the ambition to steer the NPCA in a direction appropriate to the challenges that climate change presents to the Niagara Region. We have no time left to play host to politicians who delay action on climate change. We need leadership now!
To further support:
The election of the new chair will occur on Wednesday, January 15, 2020, at Ball Falls Centre for Conservation, 3292 Sixth Ave, Jordan Station, ON L0R 1S0. Take direct action by attending the general meeting at 9:30am.
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