Bracebridge — Councillor — Bracebridge Ward 1
1. What actions have you personally taken to support a greener, more sustainable climate?
We recycle in our home. We use the green bin for food waste. We drive a small car when we can to save on gas and save on emissions. We have upgraded our doors and some windows and insulated as best we can to minimize heat loss. We use recycled materials as much as possible for renovations. We use the Fashion Closet downtown mostly because it is such a great store, but also because it offers excellent quality new and used clothing. We shop locally as best we can.
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
Transportation Buildings, housing, land use and transportation all go hand in hand. Some of the older buildings in our downtown may need new windows and doors and insulation that would help greatly to minimize heat loss. There are initiatives through the federal and provincial government that may become available that would help fund that kind of upgrade. Since the paperwork and forms can be daunting to say the least, it would be good to have someone to facilitate the application process. Someone who has some training in filling in the forms to assist business and home owners through the process. We had an energy audit in our last home and completed all of the suggested improvements.
There are areas in the town such as the old Albion Hotel lot that was rumoured would be available for condominiums. We have such a shortage of housing it would be great to see it developed. There is a “Rent to Own” initiative at the federal level. Maybe it could be utilized to assist in such a project. A condominium across from the train station (which may be put back in use if ridership begins to rise due to the cost of fuel) and on the public transportation route we have called the “Wave” here in Bracebridge. So people can walk or ride on public transportation to get around town.
So far as land use goes, I understand the implications of too much development around our waterways. There are instances where large fines have been issued due to broken by-laws. But what we have seen is the wealth around the lakes are able to just pay the fine and continue on with their build. Local enforcement issue the fines and the property owners just issue a cheque and continue to build. Maybe local councils could use STOP orders and a new by-law that doubles fines each day work proceeds without approved permits?
Other – community gardens working with our children to show them that their food doesn’t come from a box or bag. That seeds and sun and clean water provides our food sources.
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’m running to represent Bracebridge Ward One and I would be one voice and I have a lot of reading to do to catch up with the work our council has already done. I am so happy that Bracebridge Council was forward thinking years ago when there was a move afoot to sell our hydro utility. It is the cleanest and least expensive fuel. It belongs to the people and we enjoy revenues that helped a team to build Lakeland Internet. We have so much to gain by remaining good stewards of these utilities. With abundant electricity, high speed internet, Northern Ontario School of Medicine where amazing young doctors stay on to practice here, there is “so much to celebrate” as my campaign slogan states!
My first action would be to come up to speed in the actions of our past council and then work toward environmentally sustainable development to provide our population with a clean and healthy place to live and work. Lofty goals for sure, but I’m up to the task.