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Letter Q&A from economists on Canada's Carbon Tax

If politicians are serious about climate change, what would they replace the tax with? 

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Mark Seeber, Senior Technical Advisor for Medatech is working with Teck's new Highland Valley Copper mine to make it a low carbon operation and discusses the success underground and the challenges for surface mining. Summary notes:

  • Mark pointed out that there are huge challenges confronting the widespread adoption of battery-electric solutions for large surface haul trucks in the mining industry;

  • Though the road haul with the BEV tractor-trailer down the mountain from Highland Valley to Ashcroft is feasible due to descending the mountain loaded, this is not often possible in open pit mining applications. Generally the haul truck is always climbing a grade loaded and returning to the pit empty.

  • The challenges are such that BEV technology might only be the answer for some open pit mining operations.

  • A critical point Mark raised is the quantity of electricity required to electrify/de-carbonize surface mining operations at the province wide (or larger) scale.  This limitation applies regardless of the technology used: BEV, trolley (wired) systems, even hydrogen if 'green' -- that is, not produced from fossil fuels.  

  • So what are the possible de-carbonization paths forward for the surface mining industry?

    • use electricity (renewable only) only for mining required for materials needed for the energy transition;

    • require mine designs that enable BEV or trolley electrification or conveyor systems -- that is, mostly downhill for loaded hauls;

    • on-site electricity generation (brownfield areas, already mined) -- pumped storage hydro, solar, wind, geothermal.  (e.g. what is the temperature of water being pumped out of waste rock in pits?)

  • Hydrogen is a big issue.  Gray -- out of the question as derived from natural gas.  Blue....if CCUS technology proves out and results in economically competitive (with electricity) hydrogen production.  Green is an obvious answer....but if renewable energy is going to be used to produce green hydrogen, why use hydrogen as the energy carrier when we already have infrastructure to deliver renewably-generated electricity to many mine sites?  One possibility is on-site (mine site) renewable electricity generation used to generate hydrogen which then fuels haul trucks.  In comparison to using renewably-generated electricity for BEV haul trucks, this might address at least two problems: (i) battery re-charge time; and (ii) the dangers in transport (truck, train or pipeline) of hydrogen.

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A talk with Patty K about the upcoming Future is Now event 

Hear what Patty & Jenn are organizing with Bob McDonald on the topic of community sustainability, technology and innovation and how to support!  

Energy Decarbonization and Meeting CleanBC 2030 Targets

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Concerns about decarbonization of the energy sector and BC Hydro’s ability to meet the growing demand for low carbon electrification of energy in BC is on everyone’s mind these days. On Nov 16, 2023 BC Hydro presented on meeting future demand and answered questions from elected officials

At this webinar the Pembina Institute also reported on Renewable Natural Gas and the Zero Carbon Step Code   

Columbia Valley municipal councils have been asked to adopt the highest step in the Zero Carbon Code program by mid-2024. See the Pioneer article below, and the Zero Carbon Code for more information.


Interested in maintaining clean indoor air during the wildfire season? Check out these three solutions to clean indoor air submitted by the EKCH.



Kevin Pennock, KORE Executive Director, spoke with the EK Climate Hub about KORE's " ReHub " . It's purpose is to help keep outdoor rec gear out of the landfill.  The focus is on textiles at this time and KORE is looking at all of the possibilities: RE: pair; RE: sell; RE: use (swaps); RE: duce (rental); RE: education; RE: purpose; RE: cycle.



Kootenay Carshare presented to the EKCH on the Air Carshare Program.
See below for the slides of this presentation.


Impactful Policy Suggestions by EKCH for advocacy with Provincial MLAs.  It outlines steps for future ready buildings and energy, along with community wildfire resilience.  It was prepared in collaboration with provincial partners. 

Effective Messaging for Climate Action: Extending the Outreach

Mary Stockdale gives us a set of principles to aid in climate communication.  We know that talking about climate change is critical and is difficult (no one wants to be Debbie Downer but it's important not to gloss over what's happening). This is helpful guidance on values based communication. Mary is an Adjunct Professor in Culture and Global Studies at UBC’s Okanagan campus (UBCO), and engaging communities in climate action is her central concern. Download the slide deck and exercises to learn more!

YouTube Link


Are you putting on a new roof, siding or landscaping?  Here are ways to reduce head absorption of your home and improve water permeability and reduce runoff from impermeable exterior surfaces. Simple but effective techniques to help create a more resilient home!

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Dr. Ilona Hale talks about the climate impacts of the healthcare system and what we can all do to help.  Dr Hale is a family physician at the Kimberley Medical Clinic and a researcher and assistant clinical professor with the UBC dept of family practice. Her research interests include anything related to prevention and health promotion particularly very early prevention of chronic disease during infancy and more recently she has been working on projects related to reducing the environmental impact of healthcare.


Maylyn Tarves presents to BC United Caucus. Maylyn is a student at Selkirk Secondary School in Kimberley.

Photo (from left to right): Dan Ashton, Elenore Sturko, Coralee Oakes, Maylyn Tarves, Renee Merrifield, Tom Shypitka, Shirley Bond

Electric Car Charger

Overall lifecycle impacts of EVs from their manufacture (including the mining of source materials),operation, and ultimate disposal.

Briefing and references (3 pages).


Sound Fiscal Management with Electric Refuse Trucks

Report prepared by the East Kootenay Climate Hub

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Community Energy Association video and resources:

1) Building a Legacy: A Net Zero Home in Cranbrook BC (Video)

2) The Zero Carbon Step Code: An Introduction (Presentation Slides)

Sophie Larsen, The Living Lab COTR Project Team Primary Investigator spoke with us about reducing COTR campus’ carbon footprint via composting and growing food that is then consumed onsite.

Tim Chapman spoke with us about the about Youth Climate Corps’ (YCC) projects in the East & West Kootenay.  "... Our crews work on climate change at the local level, directly in our communities and the ecosystems that surround them."

Mike Sobocinski, Strawberry Field Greens spoke with us about his year-round, vertical hydroponic farm using state-of-the-art technology in the East Kootenay (Wasa area) to produce greens and more.

*New* May 1, 2023 Zero Carbon Step Code

The BC Government has established a new code for municipalities to require lower carbon emissions in new buildings. There are 4 steps to achieve low emissions.  Stay tuned as your municipality helps ensure new builds don't have to be retrofitted in a few years time. 


Reduce Your Footprint With This Guide to Home Retrofits

Home retrofits and finding available grants can deter homeowners from taking action. See the following information from the Eask Kootenay Climate Hub and Wildsight.


Do heat pumps work in our cold climate?

Yes! Listen to Bruce Murdoch on the CBC at minute 37 for more info.

The Heat Pump Torture Test - December 2022

Food Recovery Depot presentation by Shannon Duncan, Coordinator with Healthy Kimberley Food Recovery Depot

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Climate Advisory Committee -
A Presentation by Mary Stockdale of the Vernon Climate Advisory Committee

Why Culture Matters! Broadening the Climate Conversation.
Thomas Teuwen will speak with us about why culture matters for a resilient future; the barriers to culture shift, and working with these characteristics common to us all. Thomas reflects on the barriers that are getting in the way and approaches to working with (rather than against). 

(Please note that the first 30 minutes of the webinar is a Deep Canvassing update on the Cranbrook project)

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Join leading communications experts to peel back the layers of Canadian public opinion on climate and energy and gain new insights you can use right away.

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Read Cranbrook Townsman article on Bruce's home below

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Considering Purchasing a Heat Pump?

Follow up questions and further resources below

Access Bruce Murdoch's case study presentation on building a net zero home below.

Case Study: Net Zero Home

Access CleanBC's presentation on the benefits of a heat pump below.

How to achieve our (EKCH) place-based vision and values

Check out our action items on housing, walkability, stewardship, autonomy, and community 'onboarding', along with our aspirations for municipal candidates.

Forest Path

Past Webinars

Check out the Climate Hub network at and our commitment as a member of the network here.

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