Group pitches green economy ideas to Qualicum Beach town council

Alternative energy fair scheduled for April 26 at the civic centre

Some local residents hope to help Qualicum Beach “flourish in a green economy.”

That’s the name of an alternative energy fair being organized by Communities to Protect our Coast (CPOC) for April 26 at the civic centre.

“Our aim is to prove that we can flourish in a green economy,” CPOC’s Louella Hollington told town council during the first regular meeting since November’s election.

“We believe there is a growing consensus in reducing our dependance on fossil fuels and reducing our carbon footprint,” she said. “All evidence points to an environmental and economic crisis if decisive action is not taken quickly.”

Hollington spoke of the group’s high-visibility participation in environmental activities in the area with their florescent green shirts. She said “leadership from senior governments is slow,” so they are asking town council to join local citizens to “take steps now.”

The fair will bring together guest speakers and information booths from green energy companies from all over the Island, including “experts in solar, wind, geothermal and biomass power.”

“The theme is to show we can flourish in a green economy,” she said, and highlight the idea of “sustainable employment, particularly for young people who currently leave the province to work in the oil industry.”

They will highlight businesses that provide energy solutions that do not rely on fossil fuel, vendors displaying low- or no- emission automobiles and food producers who show best practices.

Hollington said they already have the support of the Parksville Chamber of Commerce and are approaching Parksville city council and the Regional District of Nanaimo.

They asked for town council’s endorsement, invited the town to set up a booth promoting the town’s green efforts and asked to be included in town communications like the web page and a banner at the entrance to town.

Council appeared supportive, with Coun. Barry Avis specifically asking if there was more they could do to support it. A staff report on the requests will come back to council at a future meeting.

The fair is planned as an all-day event, with admission by donation, on Sunday, April 26.

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