Big Lakes County council split on climate change workshop

Richard Froese
For the Lakeside Leader

Big Lakes County council appears to be split on the issue of climate change. This became apparent in an Aug. 30 discussion around a workshop on the topic that council will participate in. The workshop is funded by a major grant from the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre.
“Whether we believe in climate change or not, it’s not all bad,” said Reeve Ken Matthews. “Climate has changed for centuries; climate change is ongoing.”
One councillor said the grant is a good opportunity.
“If we don’t get on board, we’ll be left behind,’ said councillor Dave Marx. “It would be good to tap into.”
A $17,000 grant has been approved for the county, which is required to provide $2,000 of its own money for the workshop.
Reporting on the opportunity, Big Lakes director of corporate services Heather Nanninga said the workshop would be used to create a related action plan for the county.
“Through a council resolution approving a workshop, or simply showing commitment to improve efficiency and manage risks associated with climate change, Big Lakes County can take its first step towards accessing several avenues of funding,” Nanninga said.
Opposing the motion were councillors Ed Podollan, Ken Killeen and Ann Stewart. Councillor Robert Nygaard made the motion, which was supported by Matthews, Marx, Ron Matula and Frank Sutherland. Don Charrois was absent.
“It’s just a waste of money,” said Podollan. “It’s a big agenda for globalization; the propaganda is working.”
Killeen said not much can be done to reverse climate change.
“If we can’t control it, we can’t do anything about it,” he said.
Nanninga’s recommendation to approve the application for funding for the workshop came after the fact, since she’d already submitted the application. Because of the Aug. 11 deadline, it had to be done quickly.

Reeve Ken Matthews


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