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B.C. district postpones climate events, citing intimidation, safety, misinformation

NELSON, B.C. — A British Columbia regional district has postponed a series of climate action open houses, citing safety concerns and fears of intimidation.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay in southeast B.C. says the open houses were scheduled to take place from next week until July, but making the “difficult decision” to delay the events was the only responsible course of action.

The district’s statement issued Thursday doesn’t describe the nature of the intimidation, but says its draft climate guidance plan has been the subject of online misinformation that had caused confusion and misunderstandings.

The news release disavows the concept of 15-minute cities as part of the plan.

The 15-minute city concept advocates placing community amenities and facilities close to where people live, but has been the subject of conspiracy theories that it’s part of a plan to restrict freedom of movement around the world.

The district says it hopes to reschedule the open houses as soon as possible. 

“We understand the disappointment this (postponement) may cause, however, we firmly believe prioritizing the safety of our staff, attendees, and the community as a whole is paramount,” the release says.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 19, 2023.

The Canadian Press