Gravenhurst — Councillor — Ward 3
1. What actions have you personally taken to support a greener, more sustainable climate?
I was born and raised on my family organic farm in Severn Bridge so I grew up in an environmentally conscious household. Keeping Muskoka beautiful and clean should be of utmost importance. Currently the farm practices regenerative (restorative) agriculture. The farm uses practices that restore soil health, improve carbon storage in the soil, increase soil organic matter, mitigate drainage problems and produce nutritionally dense food. Rotational grazing of animals also helps to increase soil carbon storage capabilities. The farm predominantly uses hand tools and no till methods thus the need for fossil fuels is minimal.
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
Buildings/Housing: There are many alternative heating methods such as geothermal, outdoor wood furnaces etc that are not reliant on fossil fuels and are more sustainable.
There are many alternative building methods such as cob, straw bale and hempcrete that could be widely used, are cheaper and more environmentally friendly. Most of the materials for these building methods could be locally sourced as well.
Land use (sprawl): Urban/commercial sprawl is not something I personally want to see any more of in Muskoka. There is nothing good that can be said about it and they potentially cause environmental damage.
Transportation: There should be rail service from Toronto to Muskoka and vice versa. I know that the plan is for it to return, but it needs to be reliable, fast and multiple times a day.
Other: Promoting restorative land use techniques to golf courses, farms and greenhouse operations could reduce fertilizer runoff into the lakes and waterways. It can also help mitigate shoreline erosion problems.
3. A long-term problem requires a long-term solution. What is your 100-year plan? If elected, what would be your first action?
A 100 year plan takes an enormous amount of forethought. We need complete solidarity as a nation to ensure any long term plan is fulfilled. This is a multigenerational plan that must be implemented to ensure that the damage being done to the planet can be stopped. We are very lucky to be in Muskoka where we do not really see many environmental crisis’. We are much less vulnerable than many other places.
For my 100 year plan I think that we need to transition back to a more local economy and lifestyle. The days of cheap travel to far off places is coming to an end. Having reliable high speed rail service to Toronto is imperative to cut down on the need for people to drive to and from the city. We need to implement sustainable building technologies, green energy and environmentally friendly practices in all aspects of our daily life. This transition can happen in as little as 20 years if there is the political, societal and economic will.
If elected I would advocate for more widespread use of greener heating and cooling technologies such as geothermal and I would try to promote the idea that Muskoka could be food sovereign. Using restorative agriculture techniques we could ensure that the majority of the food in Muskoka comes from Muskoka which would greatly reduce the need to transport food long distances.