The Mayor of the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Jack Crompton, has written a letter to Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNR) asking that it bear more of the financial responsibility for climate change impacts in his community and in general.

Sent on November 15th, the letter is addressed to Tim McKay, president, CNR and makes a case that resource extraction undertaken by the company will cause more intense rainfall and overall drier conditions, as well as increased risks of drought, flood, and extreme weather.

“Our 2018 budget alone included a $1.4 million investment in community wildfire protection activities. These budget investments are expected to continue for at least 40 years into the future,” wrote Crompton. “As a town with a population of less than 15,000 people, this is a significant cost to bear along with costs associated with impacts to winter and summer sports tourism.”

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Compton is pointed about the need for change in how responsibility in managing climate change impacts is allocated: “These challenges and costs will only be greater if companies continue to develop fossil fuel reserves, ignoring the scientists who tell us that we cannot safely develop all of the existing reserves.”

Tristan Goodman, president, Explorers and Producers Association of Canada, told the Calgary Herald that letters of this nature might cause discord with those who rely on the energy sector. “We have to remember most of Whistler’s clients are actually driving or coming (there) using fossil fuels… They might want to consider their customer base as they move forward,” said Goodman to the Herald.

The letter from Whistler to CNR is a part of a campaign being organized among municipalities, with support from West Coast Environmental Law and that got started as a motion to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities during its annual meeting.

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