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; but they are still effective environmental stewardship policy at the municipal level of government jurisdiction.