Hudson, Quebec 16th September 2019


“If we do everything we possibly can to respond to the climate and ecological emergency (individually, working together locally and thinking globally)… If we draw on all the resources, imagination, courage and political will… What could we create?”

(Totnes 2019 Community Climate Action Summit, UK)

Getting the climate action conversation started in Hudson…

On Monday, September 16th, at 7:00 pm, Dr. Heather Short, local Earth Scientist and Climate Educator presented The Climate Crisis 101 at Stephen F. Shaar Community Centre in Hudson. The presentation covered the scientific basis, the psychology of inaction, what to expect in our lifetimes, and (most importantly!) what to do about it. 

Dr. Short’s presentation was a repeat of the same talk she gave on August 12th when over 60 people from Hudson and surrounding areas came out to hear her speak. In response to requests from people who attended that presentation, an encore presentation was organized that included round-table discussions after the presentation. These discussions were dedicated to finding ways we, as individuals and as a community, can respond rapidly to the climate crisis.

The goals of the round-table discussions were threefold:

  • Identify local ‘Little do’ (individual) and ‘Big do’ (community-level) actions
  • To provide/identify ‘point people’ or groups in our community who can facilitate community connections and actions going forward
  • To provide a space for discussion around ‘eco-grief’ and access to information about Extinction Rebellion and other forms of non-violent civil disobedience

The discussion tables were organized as follows:

  • Natural Climate Change Solutions
  • Rewilding and Restoration
  • Conservation of Natural Areas and Wetlands
  • Local Food Systems and Regenerative Agriculture
  • Waste Management Solutions
  • Transportation solutions
  • Eco-grief
  • Extinction Rebellion
  • Climate science questions for Heather

After choosing a table, each table discussed two key questions:

  1. What can we do now as individuals or what are the Little do’s. What behaviour do we want to model to change social norms and transform our daily living in an urgent response to climate change?
  • What can we do as a community going forward or what are the Big Do’s? What are those actions that may take more effort at a community or governmental level.

The outcomes of our conversations…

You’ll find the complete list in the table on the following pages but here are some of the common themes.

Little Do’s

Get the message out there! Now.

Talk with people, encourage behaviour change and get involved. Go to council meetings, District meeting, write and talk as much as possible.  There was a recognition that we were ‘preaching to the choir’ at the roundtables and that it was important to join in to increase the pressure for action amongst members of our local, regional and ultimately global community.

Start doing!

We need to start doing those things that we can to change our own behaviour and those within our circle of influence. For example, car-pooling, cycling more, supporting local farmers and eating a heathy, unprocessed diet. There was also the recognition from the eco-grief table that we will need to continue to connect with others in our community as a way to counter the despair and overwhelm we may feel. Ultimately, “Action is the remedy for despair”.  

Big Do’s

Municipal government actions

Examples included encouraging  and working with our Councillors in order to change and/or enforce existing By-laws that would result in clear climate action.  Example – relax lawn-cutting rules and eliminate illegal pesticide use – Hudson is supposed to be doing this already. Let’s get on it.

Community-let projects or initiatives

For example, a rewilding project at the unused Thompson Park playing fields, setting up a Land Conservancy or starting a Community Fridge or Creative Re-use Initiative.

So, what’s next for our town? Here’s some ideas…

Our hope now is that you are able to take these ideas and start doing, with courage and dedication (if you are not already!), all the Little Do’s you possibly can and also connect with others in working toward accomplishing the Big Do’s! Connect with your facilitators and other from your group, start an initiative yourself – in order to have rapid and transformative change, we all need to take action and work together, that much is clear.

On October 30th, at the ordinary meeting of the MRC Vaudreuil-Soulanges (Mayors of each municipality in the MRC) plan to adopt a Regional Climate Action Plan. After adoption, each municipality will be required to develop their own Climate Action Plan in line with the regional plan. Based on your discussions, we encourage you to get involved by talking to your councillors, going to meetings and getting involved in any consultations and discussions (or organize your own).

Over the next few months, Heather will likely be giving more presentations /workshops similar to the one you attended. The most recent was held Thursday, 17th October in neighbouring St-Lazare.  If you know someone in another town interested in hosting let us know.

We propose that the fantastic ideas for individual and community actions you came up with be used to inform the discussion of a larger Community Climate Action Summit (multiple speakers, full day event) to be held in Hudson in early 2020.

Community dinners anyone?  We propose to start up a monthly pot-luck style community dinner to come together, share local foods, ideas and ways to get stuff done – and have some fun! If you want to be involved let us know – first dinner tentative – late November.

Contact Robyn (Hudson Food Collective) or Briony (Nature Hudson) as per below.

Sincere thanks to Dr. Heather Short, our facilitators and everyone who came out to participate…let’s get it done…Onwards!


Robyn Rees                                                                 Briony Lalor                        


Facilitator: JJ Corker (Nature Hudson  
Encourage/promote the benefits of biodiversity by talking with people
Reduce how much lawn and lawn mowing we do to allow for wildflowers, trees and other native plants to germinate and grow.
Promote the idea of “Inner wildness”. Encourage others to understand/enjoy the benefits of stargazing, moon phases/natural rhythms, wildcrafting, permaculture practices, forest bathing, etc. 
Get the message out to others – share, send Letters to Editor, write articles for the paper.
Encourage council to change municipal by-laws to allow for reduced lawn-mowing in Hudson (including along highways /main roads) and that development is based on eco-housing with shared facilities
Avoid tropical hardwood purchases, especially where sourced from rainforests. Source local products with FSC Certification.
We could give away tree saplings growing on our properties.
Rewilding/permaculture of Hudson’s Thompson Park to create a healthier community space. Extension to the Hudson Heartbeet farm.
Start community fruit/nut harvesting, wild foraging initiatives to create new social norms and prevent food waste
Investigate establishing a Land Trust or Land Registry and start conversations with local landowners or buy land ourselves!
Article: ‘Rhapsody in Green’ (12th July 2019), The Guardian Book: FERAL by George Monbiot Hudson Food Collective foraging series Some group members have oak saplings, ostrich ferns, etc. to give away!    
Facilitator: Briony Lalor (Nature Hudson  
Get the message out to others – share, send Letters to Editor, write articles for the paper.
Use a ‘factsheet’ with info about why it is important to protect natural areas and wetlands in Hudson
Attend council meetings/district meetings and raise this as a key issue for climate action
Sign and encourage others to sign the current petition to protect natural areas and wetlands in Hudson or other similar petitions in other areas
Put up posters at our local Post Offices or IGA and other local businesses to draw attention to the petition or other events that may be coming up
Do a letterbox drop with a ‘flyer’ for the same in certain areas of town
Have climate conversations with neighbours/friends/colleagues in a respectful non-shaming way  
Establish a group/committee to determine how to go about establishing a Land trust in Hudson and surrounds. Connect with other groups in Rigaud (or elsewhere) involved in conservation success and learn from them
Have conversations with neighbours/friends who are landowners in Hudson about the role of conservation in climate action
Seek out funding from multiple sources for the conservation of key natural and wetland areas in Hudson (provincial, federal, private)  
RESOURCES FOR ACTION to see the rationale/fact sheet on this issue for Hudson and to sign the current petition.      
Choose to eat well – healing ourselves and the planet!
Shop local and support local farmers markets
Grow food indoors in the winter
Ferment food
Encourage and get involved in picking fruit from private gardens in Hudson and surrounds
Compost or vermicompost food wastes at home all year round  
Set up an aquaponics or a community greenhouse for growing food year-round!
Set up a ‘Community Fridge’ initiative in Hudson to reduce food waste by learning from other initiatives
Organize cooking workshops in Hudson to show how to cook locally grown, healthy food and encourage eating less processed food.
We can hold events for our kids that involve them in cooking and learning about healthy eating
Organize community cooking events where people come together to share food and cook together  
Facilitator: Cameron Stiff (  
Reduce consumption in general!
Stop using/buying plastic! Look for alternatives, shampoo bars not bottle, use beeswax wraps
Stop buying pre-packaged vegetables and other foods. Buy fresh
Start preserving food to eliminate our food waste
Collectively put pressure on grocery and other stores we frequent to reduce their waste Carry a factsheet to give to grocers about wasteEncourage stores to use food waste by donating to soup kitchens or farmers for animal feed (pigs). Unwrap packaged food at the counter as civil dis-obedience
When household items break, look for ways to repair them!  
Set up or join a ‘Creative Re-use’ Initiative
Work on influencing behavioural change on a large scale by being strategic in who we try to influence and focusing on people in positions of authority
Encourage people in positions of authority to investigate new technologies for recycling and composting  
Inspiration for a Community Fridge Initiative   Concordia Centre for Creative Re-use
Facilitators: Adrian Burke (contact   
Cycle more, Walk more
Encourage and investigate car-pooling as much as possible. There is a new app (get in touch with creators to ask about how it could be used in Hudson). Set up a Facebook page for Hudson residents travelling to Montreal
Encourage council to change the no-idle By-law (currently it is a recommendation not a law)
Encourage council to install an electric car charger in Hudson
Offer lifts (informally) for neighbours/friends
Campaign for an electric Microbus around Hudson to move people in the village  
We need more public transit options from Hudson to Vaudreuil (e.g. Bus 21)
We need to allow bikes on trains at rush hour
Encourage everyone to create work/school and general life closer to where they live (reduce transportation needs)
Encourage family car-pooling and provide incentives (e.g. fast lane for carpoolers)
Encourage/create incentives for car loaning/sharing in Hudson  
RTM car pooling   CREM Covoiturage – To set up a location in Hudson for car-pooling (Alexander Nizhelski au 450-651-2662 ou par courriel
Connect with other humans rather than buying or consuming as a distraction
Meet with others that are as concerned as we are. Join!
If our families and friends don’t get it or disagree with climate change action? Remain calm and repeat
Don’t talk to certain people if we know it will affect us emotionally too much
Have a gratitude journal
Be kind and generous with one another
Observe the priorities of the three R’s – Reduce comes first!
Find local alternatives: zero plastic for example; observe our use, such as with our phones or tech devices; buy second hand
Stop expecting to shop the whole world in our local grocery store!
Vote with our money and stock portfolio  
Engage in meaningful actions with others such as civil disobedience with groups like Extinction Rebellion QC
Create a movement, build hope. People like Sat Guru, who has gathered thousands to plant trees, are creating movements that really make a difference  
Facilitator: Elza  
Have Heather or other XR people give a presentation to the council – engage our Councilors to request a presentation!
Encourage people to write questions to the Local Journal in preparation for political debates. Or, submit questions signed by many people. A make sure the question/s is/are reasonably tough.
Make sure we connect with as many local politicians as possible and make our voices heard. Why aren’t they doing more?
Help start a movement…
Speak to people! (no shaming though). It’s easy to be in denial… talking about the issues more (with real people) can combat this
Talking to your family is easier than to strangers. Families are powerful!
BE COURAGEOUS and speak publicly (using points similar to those in Heather’s talk) at other events in Hudson. E.g. before something at the Village Theatre, or at one of the many fundraisers that occur in Hudson (Le Nichoir, NOVA) etc. in order to connect to the climate apathetic i.e. NOT preaching to the choir.
It is important to start engaging those amongst us who may be willing but are just missing the catalyst!
XR as a group partakes in or uses civil disobedience. E.g. blocking roads. The Quebec chapter is growing…
For the massive protest on the 27th September and others in the future, get as many people there are possible. Carpool, offer rides, help organize collective transport – be the catalyst in your circle of influence.
Mobilize and enable other people, have a movement like the red squares of 2012 (Maple Spring)
Organize or participate in slow swarms (civil disobedience tactic). A good one as anyone can feel welcome to participate. Unlikely to be useful Hudson however. “Serious” protesting or civil disobedience is easier to do in the city, versus in smaller communities.