Bracebridge — Councillor — Bracebridge Ward / Ward 1
1. What actions have you personally taken to support a greener, more sustainable climate?
To date, my actions have been individual actions, focused on changing my lifestyle to reduce my waste. Composting, making broth from vegetable scraps, and baking my own bread & granola bars has greatly reduced my plastic usage and garbage volume. When grocery shopping I avoid products in plastic as best I can and have replaced several staple items with other brands that come in glass, metal, or paper. I audit my garbage and recycling periodically to see what the biggest contributor is (currently meat packaging), and then I work on finding an alternative solution. Not all of my efforts have been entirely successful though. I can’t seem to keep my vegetable garden alive and the electric lawn mowers I tried just weren’t cutting it (pun intended). In the spring I’m looking forward to trying cloth diapers with my newborn and introducing them to environmental stewardship.
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
All of the above are important areas to address, though I think comprehensive land use planning would be the most important one to champion as it would impact the other areas as well. A good land use plan that mitigates sprawl would also take into account housing and transportation issues. If we could ensure housing is built within walking distance to amenities, or bike paths are part of the design, it would contribute to an active transportation system with no emissions. I think it would also be important to ensure new builds, housing or otherwise, take the environment into consideration and are designed with zero emissions in mind. Continuing to build structures that rely on natural gas and create emissions is not helping us achieve net zero, and they will just need to be retrofitted later anyways.
3. A long-term problem requires a long-term solution. What is your 100-year plan? If elected, what would be your first action?
My first action as a councillor would be to thank those that elected me. But more to the point of the question, my 100-year plan would be to help guide Bracebridge in a direction that results in a town balanced with nature. Everything in our world exists in cyclical balance, and for that reason, I do not like to use the economy as a measure of prosperity. It is generally regarded as “good” when the economy grows, and so growth has been the goal for longer than I can remember. Unfortunately, unending growth is not realistic in a finite environment. We may not hit the limit of growth in our lifetimes, but in 100 years? Maybe. Rather than growth, I would propose balance is what we should strive for, and we can start by achieving the net zero goal for 2050. Towards that goal, I think a good first step would be to ensure Bracebridge’s municipal assets achieve net zero ahead of time to set a positive example and show leadership in the fight for our home.
Thank you for listening to my position on these issues. I look forward to seeing everyone’s responses when they’re published.