—-Municipal Candidate Survey —- Chris Occhiuzzi

Huntsville — District Councillor

1.     What actions have you personally taken to support a greener, more sustainable climate?

The actions I’ve personally taken to support a greener, more sustainable climate are many. I reuse, recycle and compost as much as possible at my home (which is also where I work). This includes washing and reusing any plastic bags (ie cereal and milk bags) as much as possible, composting all appropriate items, etc.

We are very energy conscious, meaning we take short showers and don’t have lights on unless necessary to do so. Outdoors we have gardens that attract pollinators and always allow the dandelions to go to seed before doing the first lawn cutting of the season.

2.     What opportunities for climate leadership at the municipal level (e.g. greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs)) would you champion in one or more of these areas: Buildings | Housing | Land use (sprawl) | Transportation | Other

I think whether it’s one of the above or any other opportunity we have to make environmentally conscious and sustainability-first decisions, it must be championed. I want to leave a better world for my kids to inherit and keep stewarding. And that is another important point to consider: We are the stewards of this planet. It’s time for humanity as a whole to begin acting as such.

In terms of the above points: I think we really need to look at Active Transportation routes as a key starting point in being healthy, environmentally friendly communities. I look to many Scandinavian towns as reference points – including those who have no cars in bustling downtown areas. That’s a goal we should all be aiming for.

3. A long-term problem requires a long-term solution. What is your 100-year plan? If elected, what would be your first action?

I wish I had a 100-year plan. I would prefer deferring to the experts such as those in the environmental sciences to provide guidance on a 100-year plan. But, for items I am aware of, I would say my 100-year plan would include increasing the health in our forests and lakes through a reduction in road salt use near natural areas and increased support for the AshMuskoka Project (I spent several months as their communications person, so I do have more information on this topic if you would like me to expand). Another part of my long-term planning would be to increase the number of pollinators (specifically native bees) in our communities. While at my house we still have several visits, it has been less than in years past. I believe a banning of the widespread use of chemicals in mosquito and other outdoor pest control should be seriously considered and hopefully implemented. While mosquitoes may be the targets, there appears to be negative effects on pollinators which can lead to disaster for our environment (and ourselves).