An environmental symposium scheduled for Sunday, June 5 at Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre aims to create what one organizer calls ‘ah ha’ moments.
“Our objective is to create an opportunity for dialogue between community, community members, businesses and residents on what we can do to do our bit on sustaining the environment,” said Ray Andrews, who chairs the environment committee of the Sidney-by-the-Sea Rotary Club, which is organizing the event.
The speaker’s list for the all-day event includes some of Canda’s leading environmental thinkers representing a range of disciplines, including physician Courtney Howard, a global expert on the relationship between the climate and human health; and economist Seth Klein, founding director of the British Columbia office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) appearing by video. Klein, who currently heads the Climate Emergency Unit part David Suzuki Institute, is the brother of Naomi Klein, a leading voice of anti-consumerism and environmental justice.
Other presenters include Richard Kool, a professor of environment and sustainability at Royal Roads University; and local MP Elizabeth May, former leader of the federal Green Party, who many consider one of the leading voices of Canadian environmentalism.
Two dozen organizations from the non-profit, educational and corporate sector will also participate in the event, which aims to give individuals a better understanding of current measures to improve sustainability and inspire personal change.
“It’s not all doom,” Andrews said.
“There are some things folks are doing, and maybe there are some things that I can change in my personal lifestyle and in business … to be more environmentally sustainable. That’s what we are hoping — that people (say), ‘oh, I didn’t know that, or gee, I can do that.’ ”
Organizers have also extended invitations to municipal decision-makers. The purpose of the symposium is not to drive a political agenda, but rather aims to inspire actions by individuals and businesses, he said.
Tickets are available through the Mary Winspear Centre for $15. Tickets will also be available at the box office on June 5, but interested parties are encouraged to purchase ahead.
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