Environmental Action Municipally
Here are some things a municipal government can do to protect the environment that I support. Including continuing to work with the Canadian Federation of Municipalities
and access the Green Municipal Fund
which has over $72 million in funding for over 48 projects in municipalities across Canada.
Squamish was granted funding in February of this year, along with other BC municipalities: from their website
- “Vancouver is building Canada’s first ‘Passive House’ Fire Hall — designed to be net-zero energy and LEED Gold (v4) certified. The hall will also be fitted with the technology necessary for it to act as a citywide emergency hub. The project will be a model for other communities looking to retrofit or rebuild their fire halls.
- The Capital Regional District is developing a pilot project aimed at reducing GHGs by testing zero-emissions vehicles within its fleet. The district, serving 13 BC municipalities, wants to reduce its climate impact by developing a suite of fleet optimization tools, and analyzing the use of zero-emissions vehicles for emergency resilience. and
- The District of Squamish is set to conduct a pilot project focused on increasing waste diversion at commercial and multi-family housing properties by identifying the barriers to, and benefits of, composting and recycling. The initiative is built on a zero-waste strategy whose priority is to implement a new bylaw banning the disposal of organics and recyclables community-wide”.
I would like to see Squamish have a zero fossil fuel fleet. And since we need a new Firehall, we may be able to explore funding solutions through this and other partnerships at all levels of government co-operation. Vancouver was granted and loaned $2,300,000 from this fund to build a new passive solar Firehall 17.
In addition, the District can and should:
- Mandate electric car charging stations in all new builds, fully fitted and heat-at-point hot water in all new builds
- Incentivize rebates or density consideration for solar power, geothermal, and passive solar heat in new construction
- Stop garbage being left out to habituate bears who which are then euthanized for being a nuisance, by bringing in new by-laws and enforcing the ones we have.
- Uphold a buffer around sensitive habitat and perhaps allowing a higher building further away to keep a water shed buffer.
- Ensure we have proper sewer and storm sewer infrastructure so raw sewage isn’t getting into the watershed, now and into the future
- Provide more garbage bins and washroom facilities near trails so there is less human waste left in the natural environment.
- Explore using alternatives to salt for de-icing such as beet juice to salt the roads, which is less caustic and harmful.
- Increase regional transit opportunities so that there are less cars on the road by working with all levels of government and private business
- Move towards a Biofuel and electric fleet of vehicles and buses, paid for by a Gas levy and co-operation with the CFM, Green Municipalities Fund
- Encourage car sharing and bike sharing programs in Squamish
These things may seem pretty boring and aren’t as sexy as debating WFLNG. They are, however, effective environmental stewardship policy at the municipal level of governmental jurisdiction.