City of Kamloops issues warning, plans webinar after conspiracy flyer mimics municipal branding

City will 'protect its brand'

UPDATE: 1:52 p.m.

The City of Kamloops will host a webinar next week to dispel a “disinformation campaign” and help residents learn more about its Community Climate Action Plan after flyers were circulated touting conspiracy theories about the document.

In a news release, the city said staff are aware of a flyer being distributed to residents that is designed to look like it’s from the City of Kamloops. The city refers to it as a “disinformation campaign.”

“This flyer contains false and misleading information about the Community Climate Action Plan and gives the illusion that the information is coming from or is endorsed by the city,” the news release said.

The climate action plan webinar will take place through Zoom on Thursday, June 8 at 6 p.m.

Staff will present an overview of the plan and provide an opportunity for residents to ask questions about the city’s climate goals.

The Community Climate Action Plan was unanimously approved by city council on June 29, 2021, after extensive community engagement which included multiple in-person and virtual meetings.

Glen Cheetham, the city’s climate and sustainability manager, said the plan outlines strategies and actions to reduce Kamloops’ greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent in 2030, and 80 per cent by 2050.

“The intention of the plan is to guide, motivate and inspire residents and businesses in making sustainable choices by providing the infrastructure and supports required to make those choices more feasible,” Cheetham said.

The city noted the plan focuses on eight strategic areas — called big moves — that target community greenhouse gas emissions sources from things like transportation fuels, building energy use and waste.

Solutions include low-carbon growth, zero-carbon buildings, sustainable transportation options, a circular economy and healthy urban ecosystems.

ORIGINAL STORY: 12:53 p.m.

A City of Kamloops manager has issued a warning about unauthorized use of the city’s logo and branding after a flyer touting conspiracy theories in relation to the city's climate action plan was circulated in some neighbourhoods.

While the flyer doesn’t include the Canada’s Tournament Capital logo, it uses City of Kamloops branding — including colours, headers and fonts apparently chosen to mimic official city marketing.

Kristen Rodrigue, acting communications manager for the City of Kamloops, briefly addressed the matter in front of council on Tuesday.

“Staff has recently been made aware of some materials that have been distributed lately that have been designed to look as though they're from the City of Kamloops, as well as some other unauthorized uses of our logo on social media,” Rodrigue said.

“I wanted to let council know that the city takes the unapproved use of the city's logo and branding seriously, and works actively to remove such instances.”

Rodrigue said city staff work hard to build trust in the brand so the community “can be confident in the accuracy and authenticity of the information we distribute, particularly in an age of misinformation.”

She reminded the public that the city’s logo is trademarked.

“Its unauthorized use is an infringement of that copyright,” she said.

“The city does take action to protect its brand.”

Coun. Dale Bass said on social media the flyer has been distributed in the Juniper and Westmount neighbourhoods.

It spouts disinformation such as a claim that residents will be “forced” to give up vehicles and freedom of travel as progress is made on goals laid out in the city climate action plan, which was adopted by council after significant community engagement.

It mentions “15 minute cities,” a concept advocating for placing community amenities and facilities close to where people Iive, which has been a recent target of conspiracy theories.

Did you receive a flyer or know where it came from? Contact the Castanet Kamloops newsroom by calling 778-376-2151 or emailing [email protected].

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