Kamloops, BC (June 16, 2020) – As the Mayor’s Economic Recovery Task Force considers strategies to get the local economy moving again as the province begins to reopen, Transition Kamloops is offering ideas based on increasing community resilience in the face of an uncertain future.
“While this crisis has done great harm to many sectors of our local economy, it’s important that our community seize the opportunity this recovery process also represents,” says Gisela Ruckert, a spokesperson for Transition Kamloops. “We need to make sure that the stimulus money doesn’t just offer a short-term boost, like an economic sugar rush, but actually helps build a healthier, more resilient community in the long run.”
Key among the recommendations is a call for greater transparency in the process by conducting Task Force meetings openly to allow for greater public participation. “Interested citizens should be able to join in the process of planning to rebuild our local economy after the pandemic; that begins with being able to see what’s being considered,” said Ruckert.
Other recommendations include fast-tracking some initiatives that are already on the City’s wish list, such as active transportation infrastructure and energy-efficient building retrofits. “We need to be working towards systems-level change, so our group is recommending actions that tick more than one ‘systems’ box to make sure we get the biggest bang for the buck,” explains Jennifer Ste. Marie, another Transition organizer. “For example, by supporting access to local produce year-round and having our municipal government lead by example on increasing local food procurement, we’d be supporting our local farmers; this in turn builds local food security, increases community resilience during potential future economic disruptions, and even reduces greenhouse gas emissions. By carefully targeting our recovery support, we can return benefits to the whole community that will last well into the future.” The complete submission is available on the Transition Kamloops website.
Transition Kamloops is part of a worldwide movement focused on increasing local resilience and community self-sufficiency in food, water, energy, culture and wellness. It emphasizes the importance of a vibrant local economy, healthy ecosystems, and grassroots community building, while reducing dependence on fossil fuels. “We believe a better way is not just possible but necessary: we’re working toward a community that sustains life in all its diversity, strives for equality and justice and invests in the future,” says Ste. Marie.