—- Municipal Candidate Survey —- Saleem Hall

Huntsville — Councillor — Chaffey Ward / Ward 2

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

Truth be told, it’s the little things that over time I have incorporated in my everyday life. Simple things like turning off the lights, limiting the use of air conditioning and putting on a sweater when it gets colder out, being a member of the Eat Local Food baskets for the last two years. I have personally found that when I adopt small changes that then become second nature, looking at larger seemingly overwhelming challenges are a bit easier to say…’yeah, I can do that’

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

The one thing at council I would look to try and champion is to suggest another way to also look at our environment. I believe we should also consider access and protection to our environment as part of an overall mental health strategy.

Including mental health into the conversation about how we look, address and use our natural spaces allows for a deeper conversation about its direct impact on residents and the benefits they provide.

Equitable access to our green and water spaces has been cited as an effective, and free, way to help combat challenges related to mental health.  

At Council, I would help move the environmental conversation forward with a narrative, not just about the importance of climate change, but also how Huntsville can be a leader in adopting environmental policy through the lense of community mental health.

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

If I was to adopt a 100-year plan. it would look at our micro-climates, its direct impact on how we live, work, play – draw direct correlation to our everyday life and build out from there. I find when we can talk directly to impacts we face every day…then talking and adopting change for areas that are less geographically tangible is an easier task.

And if elected, my first action would be to understand what our Town and region’s actual carbon footprint is. For me having a fulsome understanding of where we are actually at allows for a conversation that looks at measurable change.

I would honestly say that I, by no means am a climate change expert. However there are smarter, more well informed people doing wonderful work in this area such as the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Sustainable Land Use report that shares best practices from across the country; that would be one example of a subject matter expert  that I would defer to when helping to craft and shape policy.