—-Municipal Candidate Survey —- Matt Fairbrass

Muskoka Lakes – Councilor Ward 3/Ward C

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

I am a participating member of the Ontario Forestry Assoc and a financial supporter
of the 50 million tree program. To date 36.7 million trees have been planted. I am
also a forest owner and participate in the Managed Forest Program on 100 acres of
my property in Muskoka. This entails monitoring the forest for health and recording
issues. It is quite extensive and concise. My business has just switched its heating
system to an Energy Star heating system doing away with the old oil system that was
polluting and out of date. This new system is 95% efficient. We recycle every piece
of intake material and reuse packaging where ever possible. Wooden skids are
burned to avoid invasive species we do not re-purpose them.

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 choose other.
As a global issue its in everybody’s back yard so to speak. Lets look at ourselves
seriously for a moment. Do you know how much jet fuel you use flying around the
globe on holidays or business? What about a cruise ship where Kilometres per gallon
is measured in feet! On the home front how much do we waste idling at a drive
through or pulling a water skier around the lake? Lets think about that. At a
municipal level it must be everybody’s responsibility to think and conserve we live
in a tough climate and we burn fossil fuels, that’s not going to change any time soon.
Its how we burn them that I see as the biggest single factor for reducing emissions.
There are government incentive plans for insulation windows doors etc that are
tremendous incentives but sometimes are not easily found without a lot of digging. I
want to see more clarity and easier access to those programs and make public
awareness a top priority. If we can use energy more efficiently and effectively we
will make a big difference.

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

Locally speaking I would lobby for a no engine idling bylaw for Muskoka Lakes.
Bracebridge has one we should as well. Limit new construction to a 200 amp hydro
services only and heavily discourage mega cottages wasteful practise of leaving
everything on and running while they are away, sometimes for months. Last winter
we had a 4 day power outage that was caused in part by the grid being overloaded. It
was -35 and the power consumption in part caused major equipment failure. Propane
use skyrocketed as heating systems tried to keep up and generators were running
night and day due to the outage. Just because you can afford it doesn’t mean you can
just use it in my books. Each project should have a carbon footprint assessment. If
you cannot stay within set parameters then it will cost accordingly or be denied. I see
this as a bit draconian but ultimately necessary to achieve balance into the future.