Vernon's Sustainable Environment Network Society and Climate Action Now! grade byelection candidates

'No front runner on climate'

Vernon's Sustainable Environment Network Society and Climate Action Now! are giving their grades on candidates in the city's council byelection.

The groups hosted a livestreamed candidates forum on Nov. 10.

In its wake, they say council "needs to be looking at every decision going forward through a climate action lens, given how grave a threat the changing climate poses to our community."

The groups say all candidates "demonstrated thoughtfulness and a commitment to service" and "spoke positively of taking action on climate change."

While the environmental groups said "we can see all of these candidates as being people we could work with on climate issues," they did single out some candidates for praise.

"In our opinion, making a choice on where to place your vote comes down to a combination of what people have said and done, as well as how good their chances are of getting elected," they said.

Three candidates were named for their experience and profile in the community, those being former councillor Catherine Lord, former city engineering manager Ed Stranks, and Teresa Durning, constituency assistant to MP Mel Arnold.

SENS and CAN! also credited two candidates with less experience for their "fresh sustainability ideas" (Stephanie Hendy) and "commitment to social issues" (Erik Oleson).

"The other six candidates made a number of good points, but did not score higher overall than the leading contenders ... in our climate action/environmental analysis," the groups wrote.

"In conclusion, there is no clear decision to be made here about a front runner for climate champion."

Advance polling continues Dec. 1 and 2 at City Hall.

General voting day is Dec. 4.

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