The City 'not doing enough' to fight climate change.

Baillie Vickers

A local climate activist group says the City of Kelowna is not doing enough to fight climate change.

A group of demonstrators with the Extinction Rebellion peacefully crashed the council meeting on Tuesday.

The group is responsible for an animal rights protest at Interior Health in November and many climate marches at the end of last year.

They stood in silence with signs that read "Tell the truth. Declare a climate emergency now!"

Activist Anna Ciocoiu said Kelowna's climate plan is inadequate and they want the City to act.

“We've had previous meetings with them and they basically think that their current climate plan for Kelowna is adequate. We've written them saying that it's not and there's multiple associations in Kelowna that do have a problem with Kelowna's climate plan, mainly because it sets unambitious targets fails to the targets for previous plans and lies about meeting those targets,” said Ciocoiu.

She said they want Kelowna to acknowledge that there is a problem and create a Climate Council to hold the city accountable to realistic goals.

“The Okanagan is a wonderful place and we're very privileged to line in it but there's so much that we can do to be climate leaders and I’m just not seeing that. We have an absolutely awful public transport system and yet they're investing in a new 16-stall car wash and gas station. They promised 5,000 transit hours and then realized it wasn't within their privy to approve it, the list really just goes on and on,” said Ciocoiu.

She told Am1150 News the group plans to continue protesting at meetings and will escalate the demonstrations if city council doesn't act soon.

“We don’t want to disrupt their business, we realize there's things that are important going on but at the same time these are the people who have the power to change things and they're currently turning a deaf ear to it, something that’s going to affect everybody, so the faster they can act on it the better it is for everyone.”

Mayor Colin Basran says the city is taking action on climate change with the new Official Community Plan, and that declaring a climate emergency "won't change anything we're doing as a city council and it would just be words on a page."