PIBC Webinar Series #7 – Declaring a Climate Change Emergency: Process, Considerations & Legalities

Wednesday, September 25, 2019, 12pm - 1.30pm (PDT)

Floods, fires and severe climate are becoming increasingly more common. As the owners and operators of local infrastructure, municipalities have much to lose from the damaging effects – not only financially, but there are significant health and environmental costs as well. Furthermore, the impact of climate change is most immediate and dramatic in Northern communities, where global warming is threatening the traditional way of life. As such, Canadian municipalities are taking the lead when it comes to climate action. In British Columbia and the Yukon, a number of municipalities have already declared, or are considering declaring, a Climate Change Emergency. With this declaration, local government can now take urgent and real action to address the climate issue. Such declarations, however, require a solid understanding of the process involved, a significant and often complex planning component and a thorough consideration of the legal requirements and potential liabilities.

Please join our knowledgeable panel for a critical overview and discussion of Climate Change Emergency declarations: What are the legal requirements and potential liabilities? How do existing city policies, bylaws, strategic and financial plans fit in? How do we measure successes? Where do we go from here?


  • Suzanne Smith RPP, MCIP, Past Chair, PIBC Climate Action Task Force
  • Cheif Dana Tizya-Tramm, Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, Old Crow, Yukon
    Chief Tizya-Tramm will explain why the community of Old Crow declared a Climate Change Emergency and discuss how climate change is altering the landscape and endangering his peoples’ culture and way of life.
  • Samantha M. Boyce, Legal Counsel, Municipal Insurance Association of B.C.
    Samantha will present on the costs to municipalities of climate change related damage to infrastructure.
  • Don Lidstone Q.C., Managing Partner, Lidstone & Company, Barristers & Solicitors
    Don will explore the legal requirements and potential liabilities of declaring.
  • Matt Horne, Climate Policy Manager, Planning, Urban Design & Sustainability, City of Vancouver
    Matt will provide an overview of Vancouver’s declaration process and discuss how the declaration will fit in the City’s overall existing frame-work. 

To register and participate, please click here.

Please contact the PIBC office at: (604) 696-5031, Toll-Free: 1-866-696-5031, or by email office@pibc.bc.ca