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Candlelight vigil held outside office of MLA Anderson to remember those affected by Climate-related disasters in BC

Organizers said the event was part of a province-wide campaign, organized by the West Coast Climate Action Network — a group that seeks to commemorate those who died during the Heat Dome, floods, fires, mudslides, and other climate-related disasters this year.

Approximately 70 people gathered in front of Nelson-Creston MLA Brittny Anderson’s constituency office Monday evening for a candlelight vigil to remember those who have lost their lives due to Climate-related disasters this year in British Columbia.

Citizens in the province recently suffered through historic flooding during the fall and saw summer wildfires wipe out some communities as the world’s climate changes.

Organizers said the event was part of a province-wide campaign, organized by the West Coast Climate Action Network — a group that seeks to commemorate those who died during the Heat Dome, floods, fires, mudslides, and other climate-related disasters this year.

WCCAN calls call on elected representatives to confront the climate emergency with actions, not just words and “aspirational goals”.

Judith Fearing and Dr. Andre Piver, of the newly formed association Doctors and Nurses for Planetary Health, both spoke of the growing impacts that the Climate Crisis is having on people’s health.

They said the effects range from the tragic extreme of actual deaths resulting from heat, fire, and mudslides to less noticeable but much more widespread challenges with mental health, chronic disease management and more.

In April of this year, Nelson-Creston MLA Brittny Anderson was named Premier Horgan’s Special Advisor on Youth.

Millions of young people around the world have been taking to the streets — from Adelaide, Australia to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe — demanding ACTION on Climate from their/our governments.

During the vigil, Fridays for Future and Extinction Rebellion activist Peregrine Hoskins, who will graduate from Mt Sentinel in 2022, told the crowd in no uncertain terms that her cohorts are very worried about the state of the world they are graduating into.

Hoskins, 17, said many are finding it hard to consider spending the next four-plus years going to university to learn for future careers that seem so uncertain and cannot see themselves ever becoming parents.

WCCAN organizers said clearly these fears have a very detrimental effect on young people’s mental health.

“Adolescence, schooling, moving out of parental homes, embarking on post-secondary education or starting a career; all these life stages come with stresses and challenges,” WCCAN organizers said in a media release.

“What is very different for today’s young people is that the very climate that has allowed our civilization to flourish is now reacting to the increased levels of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) in our atmosphere.

“Fires such as the one that destroyed the village of Lytton this year are becoming more common. The Heat Dome brought record-breaking heat to large parts of the province this summer.”

A few short months after the West Coast Climate Action Network penned a letter to Premier Horgan explaining that the current CleanBC plan “needs a reboot” and that “the BC Government must act now to confront our climate emergency”, the province experienced record-breaking floods and previously unimaginable infrastructure damage.