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View Royal votes to support lawsuit against global oil companies

Led by the Sue Big Oil campaign, the initiative is seeking municipal support
The Town of View Royal is lending its support to a campaign which aims to convince B.C. municipal governments to bring a class-action lawsuit against global oil companies over the costs of climate change. (Courtesy of Town of View Royal)

The Town of View Royal has lent its support to a pending class-action lawsuit against global fossil fuel companies for a share of municipal climate change costs.

Following a presentation by the View Royal Climate Coalition and West Coast Environmental Law Tuesday (June 7), council voted to join the suit, and set aside $1 per resident to help cover legal fees once other local governments join. The town is the second municipality in B.C. to join the Sue Big Oil campaign.

“After a significant discussion on the topic of the climate effects related to the cost of climate adaptation at the local level, council voted in favour of joining Gibsons in committing to recover the costs of climate change from global fossil fuel companies,” said Mayor Sid Tobias in an email Wednesday. “Council voted in favour of support and at this time incurs no cost to the town or residents. As View Royal is a coastal community, it remains particularly vulnerable to the increasing effects of climate change including sea level rise.”

According to a news release published Wednesday by West Coast Environmental Law, the campaign was launched in June 2022 and has been endorsed by more than 24 organizations.

“As residents of View Royal, we appreciate that our council is not simply assuming that we can afford the costs of climate change – and that they are instead looking to recover a fair share from the global fossil fuel companies that have played such a huge role in causing the climate crisis,” said Ian Brown of VRCC in the release. “We are proud of our council for the climate leadership that they have shown.”

The campaign’s members said they hope View Royal’s support will spur others in the Greater Victoria region to show their support for the lawsuit.

READ MORE: Split vote halts mayor’s proposed pause on View Royal rezoning applications

Justin Samanski-Langille

About the Author: Justin Samanski-Langille

I moved coast-to-coast to discover and share the stories of the West Shore, joining Black Press in 2021 after four years as a reporter in New Brunswick.
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