The Victoria Call to Action

Leadership & Legacy: Building Resilience through Thriving and Inclusive Communities

Cities and towns across North America are on the front lines of floods, fires and other climate-related disasters. In response and to be ready in the face of coming climate-related disasters, 50 mayors and councilors from Canada and the US convened for a day-long, interactive session focusing on building social resilience, community belonging and inclusion as a key resilience strategy. The session took palce as part of the 2019 Livable Cities Forum, “Building Better Communities Through Resilience,” which was hosted by the City of Victoria and ICLEI Canada, in partnership with SHIFT Collaborative and the Adaptation to Climate Change Team (ACT). 

Elected officials spent the day sharing local successes and challenges, and learning about opportunities to advance health and well-being while becoming more climate resilient. Workshop themes included:

  • Building Neighbourhood and Community Resilience
  • Protecting and improving human health and well-being
  • Using a Well-Being Lens for Local Budgeting and Decision Making

The day culminated with elected officials finalizing a collective Call to Action for local leaders to advance work on the health, well-being and social cohesion aspects of resilience.

Mayor Gleam Davis, City of Santa Monica shared her thoughts on the importance of having the opportunity to connect with other elected officials: “Coming from California where destructive cycles of drought and fire caused by climate change have caused the devastating loss of life and property, it truly is important to connect with other elected officials to share our experiences, possible solutions, and,  most importantly, the commitment to addressing the climate crisis that threatens us all.”

“It was so inspiring to have local elected officials join us from coast to coast to coast to discuss and develop practical, hands-on solutions,” said Mayor Helps, who hosted the day. “To hear about the community and resilience building activities happens in towns and cities across the country was inspiring and motivating.”

Yellowknife Mayor Rebecca Alty, after attending the Elected Officials workshop, said “It was a great opportunity to discuss what communities across Canada are doing to address and mitigate climate change. It was an opportunity to discuss current barriers and challenges, and strategies that others have used to overcome them, as well as pushing us to think outside of the box when it comes to cross-sector partnerships and collaboration. Moving forward, we need to continue to work together to address this global crisis”.