Survey Answers - Jaimie McEvoy

Independent incumbent candidate for New Westminster city council

 

Do you support raising {your municipality’s} community greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets to meet or beat the new province-wide standard of 40% by 2030, 60% by 2040 and 80% by 2050 (percentages refer to a reduction below 2007 levels)? [Note that some cities already match the 80% target but lack interim targets, which are crucial to meeting these goals!]

Yes

 

Will you submit a formal request to council to adopt these targets within one year of being elected?

Yes

 

Are you in favour of transparent, annual measuring and reporting of [your municipality’s] community-wide emissions?

Yes

 

Will you submit a formal request to council to ensure transparent, annual measuring and reporting of community-wide emissions, within one year of being elected?

Yes

 

Will you commit to taking a leadership role in ensuring that city council and staff work with community members, businesses, developers, and other stakeholders to achieve these community-wide targets in a meaningful way and within the specified time frame?

Yes

 

Describe three steps you will take during your first year in office to uphold this commitment.

1. Provide the funding to do the job, and hire the staff neccessary to complete the work and do the outreach. Provide the resources for a clean vehicle fleet, building retrofitting, and make this the priority in the capital budget. 2. Form a committee or task force together with community representatives to create ongoing engagement, community accountability, and action with follow up and reporting. This has worked well for New Westminster in other areas. 3. Create a standing agenda item at council so that the issue is considered regularly and publicly, as opposed to annual or incidental reporting. A standing agenda item means council would go deeper and get into more details, including how the work with the broader community is going.

Force of Nature’s framework emphasises “five key concepts” of urban climate solutions. What ideas or initiatives would you bring forth to promote, encourage or enforce the reduction of community-wide GHG emissions in each of the following categories: compact communities, multi-modal transportation, renewable energy, green jobs, and circular economy.

Compact Communities - New Westminster is currently run with the goal of minimizing the need for vehicle transportation and improving housing density and diversity. The new Official Community Plan provides for more forms of housing currently dominated by single-family housing. Currently active projects include development around the Braid Street and 22nd Street Skytrain stations. With five Skytrain stations, New Westminster's policy is critical. Both of these areas are examples where there is both opportunity and need to provide a higher level of density wherever transit is most easily available to people, lessening the road for road trips and lessening dramatically the distance between one's home and easy transit access. Multi-modal transportation - A financial commitment to the Crosstown Greenway, a strong sidewalk network and a deliberate plan to have shopping within walking distance of the entire community has been effective. Traffic to the Uptown shopping area, for example, is at 50% pedestrian and cycling. Having small service and shopping areas throughout the entire community means driving is usually not neccessary, though we could do more to educate and encourage. New Westminster's transit mode share is currently at 31.4%, which has increased following successful efforts to lobby Translink for more bus service and community shuttle routes. The current incumbent plan for densification at Skytrains and along major transit routes will increase this share. In supporting the Mayor's Plan, I have actually personally spoken at council meetings of other communities as a guest and at regional and provincial meetings to promote green ideas and funding for transit, cycling and pedestrian transportation. I myself don't drive a car, usually walk to where I am going in my very walkable community and use transit when going elsewhere. Renewable energy - I am a believer in locally producing renewable energy. Locally produced energy can be clean, utilize naturally available energy, and result in clean energy projects even when, as per the last 16 years, there is a provincial government that is less committed to clean energy. I support a district geothermal energy project as the provider of energy to Royal Columbian Hospital. I supported changing the energy utilities formal mandate from being a broker and energy provider, to a clean green agency and clean energy provider. I chaired the Environment Advisory Committee that drafted the brand new Environmental Strategy, in which solar gardens, two of which are already on stream, supporting grants for solar panels on buildings, and exploring other energy options in our town with tidal, geothermal and solar opportunities are included. That plan will come into effect after this election, if the right people are elected who have developed and supported it, and I expect to chair the Environment Advisory Committee's implementation. The next month's after the election will be where the capital budget of both the city and the electrical utility owned by the city will really be taking a very strong crack at a well-thought out and comprehensive green capital plan. I often say that "budgets are where election promises live or die." I am fully and publicly committed to making sure those resources are there to make sure promises become reality and to get the job done to meet targets that are above those set by the province, which I see as a minimum.

 

You can reach Jaimie at mcevoyforcouncil@yahoo.ca


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