Sarah Tesla / Sunshine Coast Resource Centre

The connection between climate change and its impact on human well-being is becoming increasingly visible. Both locally and globally, it is clear that people living in poverty disproportionately bear the brunt of climate-related disasters and environmental degradation. Here on the Coast, we witness droughts, atmospheric rivers, heatwaves and coastal flooding. Year after year, it has become harder to ignore the connection between climate change and the health and well-being of our most vulnerable.


This urgency led me to tune in on June 3rd to the Sunshine Coast Regional District’s (SCRD) Special Committee of the Whole meeting. They discussed and later approved the Community Climate Action Plan (CCAP), which outlines 15 goals and 25 actions for local government to enhance our resilience in the face of a warming planet. Among these goals is a focus on Connectivity, Community Health, and Support, guided by a principle of equity that acknowledges “Climate change impacts people differently based on factors such as their age, income, and health.”


We know that people in poverty often lack access to resources to manage climate impacts. A stark example is extreme heat. During the 2021 heat dome, more than 600 people died from heat-related illnesses throughout BC. This tragedy spurred programs like BC Hydro’s free portable AC-unit initiative for income-qualified households.


Vulnerable groups, such as seniors, youth, and low-income families, also disproportionately experience higher levels of anxiety and stress. This growing concern was highlighted by Dr. Moliehi Khaketla, Medical Health Officer at Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), during her presentation to the committee about the impacts on public health during climate emergencies.


So, where do we go from here? The SCRD has taken a clear-eyed approach by addressing the need to build community resilience, enhance social support, and provide resources to equity-deserving communities. However, the success of these efforts will depend on the collective actions of local governments, businesses, and individuals. We all have a role to play in this.


As we conclude our poverty reduction efforts for the ‘Be the Change’ campaign this month, it is the perfect time for our community to take the lead. Our team is ready to facilitate an opportunity for our community to actively engage in conversations about the effects of climate change on low-income individuals and to collectively discuss potential solutions.


On June 20th, we are hosting Climate Change Talks at the Gibsons Public Market to provide a platform for knowledge sharing and conversation. By attending, you will gain insights into the SCRD’s CCAP, natural building, emergency preparedness, regenerative farming, mental health, VCH’s work on the link between public health and climate mitigation, air quality, and more.


We hope you will join us for an evening of engaging discussions about how we can collectively address these pressing issues and support our most vulnerable community members.


For more information about Climate Change Talks or to register to attend, please visit


To read more about the SCRD’s Community Climate Action plan, visit


To learn more about qualifying for BC Hydro’s free portable air conditioner program, visit

The Sunshine Coast Resource Centre is your community information hub at 107A—5710 Teredo St. We are open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact us at or 604-885-4088. Search our online resource directory at