Continuing to support municipal climate action

Dear friends,

After City Council met to discuss the Low Emissions Community (LEC) Plan in August, we promised to keep in touch with you about opportunities to engage on the plan as it moves through the next stages over the coming months.

City Council’s budget process is coming up and there are items on the table to support specific initiatives in the LEC Plan. Council has gone through the process of prioritizing a list of budget items for discussion; there are some LEC initiatives that were slated for 2020-2021 in the plan that are not on the prioritized list.

Climate Justice Saskatoon supports the LEC Plan. Our position is that the LEC Plan is a comprehensive strategy to achieve the targets that were unanimously approved by City Council (a 15% reduction in city-wide emissions & a 40% reduction in the emissions of the City’s corporate entity by 2023 and 80% reductions in both the City of Saskatoon’s corporate emissions and city-wide by 2050). As a comprehensive strategy, we cannot pick and choose which items will be funded and which ones will not be each year. The sooner we start implementing the plan, the sooner we will see results including economic returns on investments which can help fund future initiatives as well as climate adaptation work.

We understand that the City has limited resources, and that is why, in addition to advocating for all of the 2020-2021 LEC Plan items to be funded this budget cycle, we also support the establishment of a long-term funding strategy to support the Plan so that each item doesn’t need to be debated at Council each year, and the Plan as a whole can be endorsed and worked on over the long-term.

The LEC Plan initiatives, along with other 2020 and 2021 budget items, will be voted on in 3-day budget deliberations beginning November 25th.

We want to show City Council that Saskatoon is still engaged on this issue, which is critical to long-term climate action in Saskatoon. Here are things you can do between now and November 25:

1) If you only have 5 minutes to support climate action, please email and/or tweet at city council. A simple message, saying that you support the LEC Plan and want to see it funded adequately this year and long-term and that you are paying attention to the budget process, goes a long way. If you’re tweeting about the plan, please use the hashtag #yxecc which is followed by most councilors and the media.

2) If you have 45 minutes to contribute, please write a more personalized message specifically to your Councillor, so they know that people in their ward are paying attention, and, if you wish your letter to be on the public record and seen by all of council, you can submit it through the City website. Giving some reasons why you personally support the LEC Plan is helpful, and the attached materials can give you more information and background about the specific initiatives if there are some you want to speak to specifically. You may also wish to speak to how you’d like to engage with Council or City Administration on the LEC Plan.

3) If you have 2 hours, please send the emails above, and ask five friends to do the same, and/or share on your social media with a personalized post about why the LEC Plan matters to you. Try to engage more people in reaching out to City Council.

4)
 If you have 3 or more hours and are available during the days of the budget deliberations (November 25-27), please take the above actions and plan to attend all or some of the meetings in person and/or apply to speak on behalf of yourself and your organization.

Thanks so much for taking the time to continue engaging and to spread the word on this critical piece of municipal climate action. The LEC Plan offers a real opportunity to take significant steps forward on reaching our municipal targets and building a more sustainable city. As always, we’ll be in touch with updates as they are available!

In solidarity.

P.S. please check out this one-page fact sheet about the budget prioritization, and feel welcome to share! And, you can listen to an episode of From the Ground Up below, which focuses on the LEC Plan:

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