Gravenhurst — District Councillor
1. What actions have you personally taken to support a greener, more sustainable climate?
For the past 10 years I have regularly added habits and behavior to my personal lifestyle which will help to mitigate the impact of climate change on our environment . As I do in my professional life, I try to lead by example. I recycle all my household waste in the proper bins everyday and actively encourage my neighbors and fellow residents to do the same. I walk as much as possible and do not use my car for short distances. I make sure that my car is in good mechanical shape With regular service calls so that it does not contribute
unnecessarily to gashouse emissions. I am in favor of promoting a “no idling “ bylaw in the town of Gravenhurst. I switch to LED lights whenever possible. I keep my thermostat lower than average during the winter and avoid using air conditioning if at all possible. I use cruise control During highway travel in order to increase my fuel economy.
As testament to my commitment to protect and conserve the environment, one of the first things I did when I was hired as the CAO for a municipality near North Bay was to apply for a large grant from the federal government to hire a climate change specialist. My municipality was one of only 10 across Canada that was successful in being Awarded hey grant in accordance with the program that I proposed. As part of his responsibilities, he was to develop measures to mitigate the impact of climate change on all of the municipal
infrastructure including parks and roads etc. I also insisted that he developed a public outreach program to provide assistance and advice to other government bodies and individuals in our municipality to take
steps big and small that they can take to help mitigate climate change impact. Each month he provided regular informative updates on what can be done to address climate change by posting articles and advice
on the municipal website.
Additionally, that municipality has a topography very similar to Muskoka in that there are dozens of water bodies, rivers and streams and lakes of various sizes which contribute to a very healthy outdoor lifestyle in that municipality. Our climate change adaptation plan is meant to ensure that the water bodies in the municipality and the adjacent ecosystems remain healthy and vibrant for future generations.
The legacy I wish to leave my children and my grandchildren and their future children is the Muskoka that I grew up in and the one which my immediate family ancestors settled in during the late 1800s.
The natural environment of Muskoka is its most tangible and important asset. If we do not protect and preserve that natural environment, including in particular the waterbodies of Muskoka, there will be no
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
Land use planning and transportation policies will be my 2 initial priorities in my efforts to help mitigate climate change in Muskoka. If I am elected ,as a District Councillor from Gravenhurst, I will propose that the new councils at both levels review current climate change adaptation plans and policies. I applaud both
Councils and the applicable staff for developing these plans earlier however there is constantly new research
pointing to Innovative ideas to mitigate climate change that we must look at.
In the” Other “category I will ask my fellow council colleagues and professional staff to increase our outreach to the residents and visitors to Muskoka in keeping them as informed as possible about their vital role in Climate change mitigation.
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 was not sure if this was a typo error because many of the questions submitted to me by various organizations leading up to the October election what’s the outline what my 100-day plan is My answer was as follows:
Municipal councils serve for four years. To achieve positive and significant goals during that time Council must have a realistic and very comprehensive long-term plan. I would intend to work with my fellow Councillors and municipal staff during the first 100 days to develop such a plan. Without such a plan it will be impossible for Council to measure and monitor and adjust our plan over the four years to ensure that it meets our reasonably attained but ambitious goals.