In the lead up to the October 15 municipal elections, The Free Press will be passing along reader-generated questions to the 16 candidates for public office at the City of Fernie.
Earlier this week, we posed this question from a reader:
- “I would like to hear from all candidates how they will direct staff to complete activities that will reduce GHG (greenhouse Gas) emissions from corporate assets and how they will create scenarios for residents to reduce GHG emissions?”
Candidates were given a little under three days to respond, and were asked to answer the question in 100 words or less as if they were at an all-candidate forum.
Only candidates who responded by deadline (September 22, 12 noon) are included. Here are their responses verbatim, in no particular order:
Tracey Audia Kelly (council candidate)
Council can set targets for staff to meet. Staff can be asked to explore funding opportunities from the Local Government Climate Action Plan (province) and the Green Municipal Fund (federal) to fund our climate action goals without impacting the municipal budget.
The City had reduction plans and committees which can be reinstated/updated. The Community Energy Association could be asked to assist with this. Citizens can be encouraged to reduce personal emissions and we could explore expanding waste management programs. The city website could have links to resources and education, including action steps, grants or other incentives citizens can access.
Troy Nixon (incumbent council candidate)
All of our asset management and future procurement should be viewed through a climate change lens that will address GHGs. Replacing everything tomorrow to make our GHGs zero is unrealistic but in time and focus, we can meet these targets. I would love to see City sponsored homeowner grants that could encourage alternative power generation but unfortunately with our municipal budget they would be small and oversubscribed. Through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and UBCM advocacy, we need to petition the provincial and federal governments for these homeowner grants which can help us meet our targets.
Zuzana Simpson (council candidate)
It is for Town staff and departments to propose GHG reduction proposals for consideration by council. This is a bottom-up approach I learned and practiced in business. Any further GHG efficiencies proposed must be cost-effective and fiscally responsible to get my vote.
Having said that, I would expect that Town facilities and buildings are already properly insulated and capital stock and equipment efficient and properly tuned.
As for Fernie residents, I would encourage them to continue riding bikes, walking, recycling & reusing and retrofitting their homes within the constraints of their budgets to minimize energy costs and GHG.
I’m a firm believer in “made-in-Fernie” solutions.
April Montague (council candidate)
Fernie’s GHG plan called “Forever Fernie” is out of date by 10 years. This is a problem because Fernie will fall behind on Greenhouse gas emission targets. Having an out of date plan for Fernie means that we missed out on incentives for electric cars, upgrades to building efficiencies and missing out on reducing our GHG emissions. Fernie council needs to ensure we have clear guidelines set for fighting GHG emissions. Starting with community engagement.
Harshan Ramadass (council candidate)
GHG emissions should be looked at holistically(region-wide) from transportation and fixed assets, given our rural nature. This question is important though because the city should be a leader in best practices.
-Longer term (Strategic): Densification of urban core reduces reliance on vehicles. This would provide the best scenario for residents to reduce GHG. My plan: Reduce red tape, attract more builders/developers building high density dwellings, increase core density.
-Short term (Tactical): Efficient operations emit least GHG(know from the Mining Industry). If not already, would institute monitoring and measuring productivity metrics of mobile assets especially during peak season ex: snow removal
Ange Qualizza (incumbent mayor candidate)
Continuing to invest in our asset management program will be absolutely critical in making sure our organization tracks and starts to manage our Green House Gas emissions. As we move into an electric fleet, further expansion of our active transportation network we must also make sure our development is smart and isn’t car centric. Re booting our Climate Action Plan will help us move through green procurement policy, and hold ourselves accountable to measurable goals.
Kyle Hamilton (incumbent council candidate)
I would like to start off by reminding everyone that Council’s role is to provide policy direction, not dictate day-to-day staff work plans. If elected, I would strongly support climate action as a priority for the next council. Pursuing a policy direction that all new, and renovated, City infrastructure is built to higher efficiency standards than current code will ensure that we work immediately to start reducing energy emissions, and reduce operating costs. As well, supporting active transportation, and multimodal transit has always been a high priority for me, and help residents reduce their GHG emissions.
Nic Milligan (mayor candidate)
Leadership from Mayor and Council can help change the hopelessness narrative many feel in the face of climate change by actioning a coherent strategy for climate resilience and by empowering the community.
There is a broad suite of opportunities worth investigating in building and planning alone: incentives for climate resilient buildings and renovations (including city facilities), incorporation of renewable energy solutions, smaller footprints, and heat pumps are just a few examples that are accessible and easily incorporated.
Start by bringing experts together like the Community Energy Association, citizens, planners, and builders, to develop a plan for energy efficient construction.
Jesse Mould (council candidate)
I am a huge supporter/ fan of local power generation, i have a really neat idea where id like to see if we could use the overflow water from fairy creek to power a few hydro turbines.
Id also like to eventually see massive solar power arrays on big city buildings like the library,max turk,arena and pool.
One of the things i talk about a lot is city infrastructure, this would include making the city buildings more energy efficient.
Do you have a question you want to hear from all candidates on? Email your question to email@example.com, and we will endeavor to reach out to all candidates on your behalf.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter