—-Municipal Candidate Survey —- Sean Stokes

Muskoka Lakes – Councillor Ward 3/Ward C

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

My family is a big supporter of a greener, more sustainable future. I have one daughter who is an environmental scientist, and my wife is a certified Master Naturalist and on the Board of Directors of Safe Quiet Lakes. We are members and supporters of the Muskoka Conservancy. Our home in Port Carling, Muskoka, is an original log cabin, heated principally by wood to minimize fossil fuels. We maintain a natural forested environment versus manicured lawns and gardens. And we will always advocate for healthy lakes, forests, wetlands and wildlife.

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 – Institute a natural heritage body to oversee and approve development and renovation of new township buildings. Ensure bylaws and official plan have a fact-based environment-first approach and maintain a “dark-skies” framework for lighting systems.

·      Housing – In addition to the above, encourage new construction to prioritize use of available technology to create new housing that is more energy efficient.

·      Transportation – A review of township vehicles to ensure adoption of electric or hybrid models to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Advocate and incentivize the development of electric boats as a viable alternative on Muskoka’s lakes and an economic opportunity.

·      Other – Recreation – Implement a system of nature trails as a four-season recreational opportunity in Muskoka (and alternative to motorized activities)

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

 Considering the challenges to approving Muskoka Township’s Official Plan, a 100-year plan is an ambitious proposition. But the first action I would undertake is to lay the foundation with data-backed evidence. I would assemble the expertise to measure and take stock of the health of Muskoka’s aquatics, wildlife, vegetation,  wetlands, air quality. This information is key to establishing vulnerabilities, specific areas of concern and potential solutions and monitoring.