Huntsville — District Councillor
1. What actions have you personally taken to support a greener, more sustainable climate?
I am heavily invested in a company called EcoSynthetics. They are a company that develops, manufactures and commercializes bio-based technologies to replace petroleum-based industrial products.
I am also looking into replacing my propane furnace with an electric heat pump. I am from Nova Scotia and I am seeing a lot of new construction projects in that province opting for this technology over fossil fuel options.
Other than that it is just a day to day, responsible lifestyle choices so that we leave this place in better shape for our children.
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
Housing: For buildings and housing I would strongly encourage developers to use green technology wherever possible. I am also a strong proponent of tiny homes and other affordable alternatives. There are a lot of times when someone does not need a large home. Allowing and encouraging the construction of tiny homes is a win on so many levels.
For one, it is a big win for the homeowner or renter. If someone only needs 500 square feet why are we forcing them to live in much larger homes? This will help them afford their home and also any utilities, maintenance and repairs over the years. It is also a big win for affordable housing supply. If this initiative was started 20 years ago we would be in much better shape locally. And a third area where this is a big win is for the environment. If someone builds a 500 square foot home as opposed to a 1,200 square foot home there will be a much smaller footprint. Due to this smaller footprint we will see less energy used to heat the home, maintain the interior and exterior of the home etc.
Land use (sprawl): I believe that we are at an absolute crisis level as far as affordable housing is concerned. This is also having a significant impact on the mental health of a lot of our citizens. I believe that the only way to improve this is through subsidies and an increase in supply. Unfortunately, this will probably involve both urban and rural development.
Transportation: One of the main action points of my campaign is active transportation. I plan on working closely with locals like John Cowan, Rich Trenholm etc. to look at ways that we can encourage a significant increase in active transportation. This will include a heavy focus on an improved trail network so that people can choose alternate methods of travel for work and pleasure.
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 will be 100% honest, I do not have a 100 year plan and I won’t insult you by pretending that I do. However, at my campaign team’s meeting yesterday I did make the following point. I stated that we need a council that is willing to make decisions that consider future generations at all times. Basically, we need to spend today’s dollars in ways that benefit tomorrow’s citizens.
Egos need to be checked and trying to get quick wins during your 4 year term has to stop. This will be my mindset for all decisions I make. We need to have a long view on all issues, not limited to climate action.
Those are my points for now. I am also always willing to listen and learn. I will sign up for your newsletter and follow your organization on social media. If there is anything specific that you would like me to know, please reach out anytime.