Trail Says Yes to 100% Renewable Energy Transition

Trail City Council unanimously voted to transition their community to 100% renewable energy no later than 2050 on Monday, April 25. Trail is the 13th community in the Kootenay region, British Columbia, to commit to a healthy, safe, and secure community powered by clean and renewable energy. Way to go, Trail!

Trail joins the Kootenay communities of Castlegar, Creston, Fruitvale, Golden, Kaslo, Nelson, New Denver, Rossland, Silverton, Slocan, Warfield, Regional District of Central Kootenay to work on achieving 100% clean energy across their all energy use sectors, including heating and cooling, transportation, electricity and waste management. City staff will collaborate with experts and residents, as well as consult the West Kootenay 100% Renewable Energy Plan and collaborate with the regional local government working group, to develop a transition plan by March 15, 2023.

Over the past couple of years, the Neighbours United team spoke with over 1000 of their neighbours in Trail and heard over and over that people are already feeling the impacts of climate change. Folks are worried about their families and neighbours staying healthy and safe from wildfire smoke, strong winds, floods, landslides and extreme heat. But what can be done from the backyard of one community?

Transitioning to 100% renewable energy is the common-sense approach to protecting everyone against these impacts while creating a healthy community, with good paying jobs. From our 1000+ conversations on door steps, on phones, and at community events, it’s clear, the community of Trail supports this clean energy transition.

The momentum in Trail can give us all hope. From the Trail’s active transportation plan to making energy-efficient upgrades to city infrastructure — the energy transition is already happening, even in Canadian small towns. Saying yes to transition to 100% renewable energy just makes sense.

Living Here: Salmo River Angler Casts a Line to the Future of of Fishing

Bull trout were the freshwater char that brought James to the Salmo River over 20 years ago. And their specific need for pristine, cold water that makes them especially vulnerable to a warming climate.

Check out James’s story as a West Kootenay Angler, who first drove over the Salmo River in 1997. Little did he know then that he would come to spend the next 24 years of his life working, playing, and fishing on this river.

Defending People and the Outdoors

Have you noticed changes in the weather? How about the snow, or the amount of fish in the river? We can’t keep people healthy and safe from climate impacts alone. We need to come together to ensure our governments put people first instead of big corporations. There are many examples of how industry, government and community have come together to make livelihoods better and protect people’s jobs. We believe we can live better together if we speak up together.

Living Here: Small Town Nurse Makes a Buzz

Many would shy away from starting a new infection-themed job during a pandemic. Castlegar, British Columbia’s Olga Hallborg, however, does not shy away from a challenge.

Check out Olga’s story as a registered nurse, mother, student, wife and volunteer, and as a busy bee. Olga works at Trail’s Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital as an Infection Prevention and Control nurse, and occasionally, she still works at her previous nursing job with elderly patients in long term care at Nelson Jubilee Manor.

Living Here: Create Energy, Create Jobs

“I knew right out of high school I wanted to be an electrician,” James recalls. “I worked for Cominco as a labourer, and did my training locally. I worked in heavy construction, maintenance of sawmills, and security system installation. And my uncles and my brothers were all involved in mining.”

Check out James’ story in Living Here and how seven years ago, after seeing a growing interest in and opportunity for his community, James broadened his electrical toolbox and started installing solar power systems in the region. His company name is Columbia District Solar and Energy.

Visit our sister magazine, Living Here

I’d like to introduce you to our sister magazine, Living Here. Living Here is independent journalism sharing stories from rural and small town voices on the solutions we need.

Check out this story featuring your neighbour Glen. Glen is a family man in Trail who traded his pickup truck for an e-bike and hasn’t looked back. Glen’s story is an example of what Living Here is all about – what it means to live in small towns as families, as workers, as parents, as neighbours, as outdoor lovers, and the common values we all have.

Accessible, Affordable and Renewable Transportation

Shouldn’t we all be able to get to where we need to go – drop our child off at daycare, get to work and to medical appointments on time? We’re exploring the possibility that accessible, affordable, clean and renewable transportation options could help us do those things and meet our daily needs. When you hear this you may think, who’s going to pay for that? Will government really make that kind of change? We’re thinking about that too and that’s why we are having these conversations. We believe that by coming together as neighbours, we can figure out how to take care of each other.