Environmental Forum Presentation

We have a global environmental crisis. Today more than 80 percent of the world’s population live in countries that are running ecological deficits – that is using more resources than what their ecosystems can renew. While Canada fairs quite well there is still plenty that can be done to reduce green house gas emissions and our reliance on fossil fuels.

Premier Doug Ford recently cancelled hundreds of green energy projects and cancelled the cap and trade program. These steps backwards put pressure on municipal governments to be innovative.

At the municipal level we have a responsibility to green our economy. Sustainable Waterloo in partnership with other institutions and businesses has built the first building in Canada to produce more energy than it consumes –Evolv1 is an example of what can be done.

Waterloo Region has set a goal to reduce its green house gases by 80% by 2050.

This can be done in a number of ways including:

  • creating clean energy jobs,

  • growing up, not out

  • increasing the city’s tree canopy

  • requiring green roofs on all new development projects

  • requiring renewable energy sources (like geothermal or solar) on all new development projects

  • requiring energy efficient appliances in all new residential buildings

As a city councillor I would like to see the City of Kitchener turn the relevant clauses of its urban design guidelines into bylaws. This would give city council the ability to insist on environmentally sustainable practices.

I would like to see the City of Kitchener join Calgary and Vancouver by signing onto the Global Footprint Network Urban study to reduce its ecological footprint.

Amazing things are happening out there, let’s be a part of it and create that city of possibilities.