Recent Flooding Triggers SFU Geography Student to Take Political Action

January 27, 2022

Recent floods in BC’s Fraser Valley have led many people to reconsider the way we live day-to-day and how we view our supply chains. For SFU Geography master's student, Christine Leclerc, these events inspired action.

After a suggestion from a friend, Christine began campaigning for Chair of the BC NDP Standing Committee on Agriculture (SCOA) to help increase preparedness for future extreme weather events.

“It was the devastating floods in Sumas Prairie—an agricultural hub—that inspired me to run... After a couple days of going back and forth to get a better sense of the campaign and role requirements, I committed to running,” says Christine.

The decision to put her name on the ballot was a leap for Christine but not totally unfamiliar territory. While the campaign process proved intense, Christine’s experiences serving on the Board of Directors for SFU’s Embark Sustainability and courses in climate change and environmental and economic policy prepared her for the responsibilities she would take on.

In her master's program, Christine studies the water cycle impacts of nature-based climate solutions. While the connection between her research and role as Chair of the SCOA may not be immediately obvious, the two relate strongly under the lens of climate solutions and climate change adaptation.

“Climate solutions are being sought in the agricultural sector, so it aligns well. Future water availability is also a major part of my research, which is directly applicable to agriculture and how water is managed,” says Christine.

As Christine finds her footing in this new role and organizational structure, she is keen to support party responsiveness to flooding and other disasters and promote science-informed policy for a sustainable future.“I get to serve with an engaged committee that’s determined to grow, learn from experts, and influence policy to support B.C. food producers,” says Christine. “If folks are interested, I’d encourage them to join community initiatives and seek to understand the many facets of the issues before them, from environmental change to social and economic impacts, and political considerations.”