Forum on the Environment Answers
So of course to prepare for the forum on the environment I wrote answers and then something else came out at the moment or everyone else had taken the answer so I made up something up on the fly, (Question 2) So I wanted to give my answers in full that I prepared. Thanks so much again to Climate Action Network, Squamish Environment Society, and Citizens for My Sea to Sky for hosting the forum.
1. Environmental Health
What do you see as the three greatest threats to wildlife, habitat, and ecosystem health in Squamish? What are some concrete steps you will take to address these issues? How will you ensure they are part of the conversation when making decisions?
3 greatest threats:
- Human wildlife interaction such as bears being euthanized because people leave out garbage threatening wildlife.
- Crumbling and insufficient infrastructure can lead to raw sewage, and other leaks into the environment threatening ecosystems and habitats.
- Development too close to sensitive habitat without a buffer zone or wildlife corridors.
Concrete steps to address:
- Bring in a by-law to mandate garbage bins stored inside like Port Coquitlam and create wildlife corridors like in Banff.
- Appropriate CAC to ensure safe infrastructure into the future
- Consulting Experts and Trust in science as well as the Ministry of Environment to ensure appropriate buffers around development for wildlife.
How to ensure they are part of the conversation during decision making?
- Always ensure there is an open and transparent process for community involvement. Invite Squamish stream keepers and Squamish River Watershed Society, Squamish Nation to the table.
- Consult with conservation officers, and Wildlife BC to ensure enforcement is in place in the areas where it is a problem with human wildlife interaction.
- Ensure staff recommendations and reports are listened to for infrastructure deficiencies and plan into the future for improvements with appropriate funding.
- Respect Department of Fisheries and Oceans BC recommendations for buffer zones
2) Climate change
Climate change is a global problem that needs local solutions. What are tangible actions that Council can take to reduce carbon emissions/pollution from Squamish residents, businesses, industry, and local government?
- Increase the number of electric charging stations, mandate charging stations in new construction.
- Provide electric and bio-fuel fleet vehicles, like Vancouver
- Encourage a car sharing program and an electric bike sharing program for Squamish.
- Incentivize builders to use heat-at-point hot water systems, geothermal, passive heat recapture and passive solar solutions in their projects.
- Increase active transit and regional transit options
- Negotiate a gas levy dedicated to transit and greening the transit fleet in Squamish.
What do you see as the three greatest challenges related to development in Squamish and how would you address them?
- What is being built? Ensure energy efficient and smaller builds mandated and incentivized
- Where are we building it? Away from sensitive habitat, respecting the science to create wildlife corridors and buffers around development. respecting green space in the OCP.
- What is the process used to decide this? All stakeholder meaningfully engaged, in a process that follows standard timelines for input discussion, reflection, and changes. People want their council to listen to them. Overwhelming opposition should slow and change any proposed development.