CLIMATE NETWORK LANARK ASKS
Questions of Candidates in the Federal Election for Lanark, Frontenac, Kingston

The Respones

Scott Reid (Conservative) no response

Michelle Foxton (Liberal)

Steve Garrison (NDP)

Calvin Neufeld (Green)


 

Michelle Foxton (Liberal)

As an individual:

1. What changes have you made in your life in the past few years towards cutting your GHG emissions in half? 

FOXTON – In 2009 we invested in our home by improving our insulation and upgrading our heating system from oil to high efficiency propane. We replaced our hot water heater with an on-demand unit and we upgraded to energy efficient windows & doors. As we have had to replace our appliances we have chosen energy efficient units. We have also replaced all our lighting with LED high efficiency bulbs and we use smart devices to minimize our electricity use. We air dry clothes as much as possible. We also compost our food waste to reduce the organic waste going into the local landfill and we buy as much local produce as possible. 

2. What will you do next on a personal level? 

FOXTON – We are considering solar energy and ground source heat for our home. We are also planning to invest in an electric vehicle for our next transportation purchase. Cost is a significant factor and making these types of technologies readily available and affordable is critical. Most people want to make purchases that reflect their values, but they have to be able to afford them. A re-elected Liberal government is committed to providing $5,000 toward zero emission vehicle purchases for over half a million Canadians and to building 50,000 more zero emission vehicle chargers.

3. What actions have you taken as a volunteer or a professional in the past few years to persuade governments, corporations and individuals to cut their GHGs? 

FOXTON – As part of the Hartington Community Association, I have worked since 2013 to inform and encourage local municipal government to consider the impacts to rural communities and farmland of inappropriately planned suburban development.

Without adequate long term planning that recognizes the natural resources available in communities such as adequate groundwater, development occurs that is not sustainable and results in the transportation of water at a significant cost to our environment. Further, such development contributes to an adverse impact on our ecosystems upon which we depend to recharge our aquifers that sustain our existing communities.

In addition, once our farmland is lost, it is lost forever. Currently our agricultural sector manages about 1.5 billion tonnes of carbon in the soils and grasslands across Canada. By reducing our agricultural lands we reduce our ability to hold carbon in the ground, which is the opposite of what we now need.

From a planning perspective it is more beneficial to have higher density centres that permit us to provide services at a more affordable rate, to offer mass transit and to create communities with services and amenities that are sustainable. Suburban sprawl in rural areas jeopardizes what farmland we have left, places stress on local aquifers and leads to a significant increase in green house gas (GHG) emissions from commuters.

It is critical that we work together with municipal government and agricultural communities to plan for the best management of our land resources that is sustainable and consistent with the reduction of GHG emissions.

4. What have you learned recently about climate change that has changed the way you act or think?  

FOXTON – Upon reading the August 9, 2021, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, I have learned that while reaffirming how dire our situation is, it also provides a basis for hope. It states that “[s]trong, rapid and sustained reductions in CH4 (methane) emissions would also limit the warming effect resulting from declining aerosol pollution and would improve air quality.”

Food waste is a major contributor to GHG emissions from landfill sites. I believe that locally we can make a difference by initiating composting programs in rural areas. I think there are many of us who would like to make changes that will have a significant impact on our GHG emissions. Encouraging government partnerships to offer simple and accessible composters, at a reduced price, would be an initiative I would support.

It is critical moving forward that we know there is a light at the end of the tunnel as long as we take strong, rapid and sustained actions to reduce our methane emissions. From reading the IPCC report I have acquired an even greater sense of urgency to act swiftly and strongly on climate change.

I also believe that our government representatives have a duty to lead on climate change and it is imperative they work with the private and public sector as well as all levels of government to accomplish change in our local communities that will have a lasting impact on our future.

As our MP, will you lobby your Party and the Government to ensure that the following actions will be announced, funded and in place by 2025, and will you annually report to your constituents on the status/progress of these climate actions:

5. Transfer of the $18 billion the government now gives to support the fossil fuel sector to climate initiatives and green technologies (including research and development).

6. Accelerate the transition to EVs by announcing interim deadlines as steps up to the requirement that all new passenger vehicles sold in Canada be fully electric (or otherwise produce no GHGs) by 2035. Increase incentives for rural EV charging networks.

7. Mandate that beginning in 2023, all vehicles bought by the federal government and its agencies will be fully electric (or otherwise produce no GHGs and not use blue hydrogen).

8. By 2023, revise the National Building Code so buildings are built or renovated to LEED or Passive House standards of net zero/low carbon/no natural gas and support net-zero building research and design.

9. Re-invent a networked electricity system that will provide the power and infrastructure required to electrify our transportation and buildings with sources that are renewable and GHG emission free. To augment this, provide utility subsidies on an energy basis (i.e., $/kWh say for 20 yrs.) for new solar and wind installations over 5 kW.

10. Ensure that national and locally based food production is ramped up so that hunger is not an issue in Canada, that we cut our dependence on imported foods, and that all Canadians have access to affordable, nutritious foods.

11. Commit to Nature Based Climate Solutions by implementing and extending the current commitment to conserving 25 percent of Canada’s lands and oceans by 2025, to conserving 30% by 2030 and supporting Indigenous-led conservation. Provide incentives to property owners to protect existing vegetation as well as plant new.

12. Fund climate adaptation and local disaster preparedness programs. 

13. Strengthen and hasten the program to provide loan guarantees to enable County / municipal governments to provide interest-free loans for residential and commercial retrofit audits and renovations that take buildings off all fossil fuels, especially natural gas/methane.

FOXTON – I believe that items 5-13 indicated above are all valid initiatives, some of which a reelected Liberal government has already committed to, such as:

  • requiring half of all passenger vehicles sold in Canada to be zero emission by 2030 and all to be zero emission by 2035;

  • making zero emission vehicles more affordable and accessible by extending consumer rebates of up to $5,000 to half a million Canadians and building 50,000 more charging stations across the country;

  • building a net-zero electricity grid by 2035 by implementing a Clean Electricity Standard, developing additional investment tax credits for clean energy and creating a PanCanadian Grid Council in partnership with the provinces and territories to make Canada the most reliable, cost-effective and carbon-free electricity producer in the world;

  • ensuring we drive down emissions from oil and gas to meet our shared goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, and continue to phase-out coal by ending thermal coal exports by 2030.

In addition, the spring budget committed:

  • $5 Billon over 7 years to develop technology aimed at decarbonizing large emitters;

  • $1 Billion over 5 years to fuel the growth of innovative Canadian companies, create jobs for highly skilled workers and bring important environmental and climate solutions to the world;

  • a goal of ensuring 100% of electricity generation for all federal buildings is from clean sources by 2022, where available;

  • $14.9 Million over 4 years to purchase renewable electricity permitting the government to stimulate investments in new clean technology and support job creation as well as Indigenous participation;

  • to providing for new government vehicle purchases to be electric where possible further assisting these initiatives;

  • $1.4 Billion over 12 years to top up the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund to support projects such as wildfire mitigation activities, rehabilitation of storm water systems and restoration of wetlands and shorelines;

  • $63.8 Million to complete flood maps for higher-risk areas.

A re-elected Liberal government will also support the training of 1,000 new community-based firefighters and the purchasing of new equipment, such as Canadian-made planes, to continue to fight the impacts of climate change across the country.

Additional funds of $200 Million over 2 years was also committed in the spring budget to target projects accelerating emission reductions by improving nitrogen management, increasing adoption of cover cropping and normalizing rotational grazing.

A significant concern, I am also hearing as I make my way through our communities, is the lack of access to food hubs where our agricultural communities can access local markets. Food security, as well as access to high quality and nutrient dense foods is a significant concern for our communities and I would most definitely support any efforts to address the shortage of food hubs, while also looking at our regulatory frameworks to allow for easier access to local community markets. I would also support initiatives to reduce the fragmentation of farmland, such as prioritizing agricultural lands in planning policies and tax incentives to lease lands to farmers rather than develop the lands. The Liberal government has also increased AgriRecovery funding to address additional costs faced by producers due to drought and wildfire and this should remain an ongoing assessment as climate change progresses.

Since 2015 the Federal Government has invested over $1 Billion toward climate action and clean growth. They have protected a historic amount of our nature and land. The spring budget also committed $2.3 Billion over 5 years to create thousands of jobs in nature conservation and management. These funds would also accelerate new provincial and territorial protected areas, support Indigenous Guardians and allow action be taken to prevent priority species at imminent risk of disappearing, including through partnerships with Indigenous peoples.

A re-elected Liberal government has also committed to helping nearly a million Canadians upgrade their homes and save on energy costs with retrofit grants of up to $5,000, interest-free loans of up to $40,000 for deeper retrofits and additional supports for Canadians to transition off home heating oil. Building standards under the National Building Code should reflect the current climate situation while anticipating future risks and updating its provisions as quickly as possible is important. It is also critical that we ensure our corporate citizens contribute proportionally to exceeding our emission targets, with which the price on carbon is assisting to incentivize. When we all do our fair share, we will reach the light at the end of the tunnel all the more quickly.

Wherever we can do better, we must do so, and I will be a strong advocate for local as well as national initiatives that exceed our current targets. This is a consequential decade and we do not have 10 minutes let alone 4 years to waste, or worse yet, go backwards. This election, climate action is on the ballot, and voters need to think about which party and which platform will move the needle the fastest.

As our MP, how would you work locally to:

14. Help our local municipal governments cut their own emissions in half in the next 10 years? For example, by requiring that all new municipal structures, such as Lanark Lodge, are built to LEED standards and providing 50-50 funds to enable that?

FOXTON – Transportation accounts for approximately 25% of Canada’s GHG emissions, of which almost half comes from passenger cars and light trucks. Incentives for municipalities to transition their vehicle fleets to electric would provide a substantial contribution to achieving our emission targets.

In addition, emissions from Canadian landfills account for 20% of national methane emissions. While landfill gas can be recovered and utilized to generate electricity in some locations, diverting organic materials such as food and yard waste from landfills (using composting or anaerobic digestion) will reduce the production of methane and generate useful products such as compost. I would work with the municipalities in our riding towards programs that offered backyard composters to residents and which informed residents of the part they can play to reduce GHG emissions by composting. Reducing our plastic streams by making producers responsible for the lifecycle of their product is also very important as is ensuring products can be repaired independent of manufacturers.

Retrofitting of existing buildings to upgrade windows, doors and insulation can also have a significant impact on GHG emissions. I would like to see a similar program to the existing homeowner program that would assist municipalities with similar upgrades and retrofits and I do agree that any new buildings should be built to LEED standards, with incentives to do so wherever possible.

I am firmly of the belief that cooperation and collaboration between the private and public sector as well as between all levels of government are critical to our path forward. We must all pull together to find ways to reduce GHG emissions as quickly as possible and our leaders must lead on these issues by ensuring we continue to talk about climate change in public forums, through outreach programs and with consultation groups within our riding. I further believe this outreach will inform and assist me as your next Member of Parliament.

15. Help our local municipal governments help their constituents cut their own emissions in half in the next 10 years. For example, by supporting the development of a micro-transit system in Lanark County? By providing base funding for a local GHG mitigation centre that will provide the information residents and businesses need to act?

FOXTON – Availability of transportation is a significant issue in our riding and a micro-transit system would definitely benefit our communities in many ways including the reduction of GHG emissions. Aligning flexible routes with community centres that provide multiple amenities would also assist various demographics. It is critical that our aging population be supported so they may age in place and stay healthy as long as possible. The recent government initiatives that have seen many municipalities in Canada receive funding for electric buses, including our neighbouring City of Kingston, is an excellent program and LFK could significantly benefit from such a program with a micro-transit system. Transportation to centres that host medical clinics, banking services, community facilities for activities among other amenities is a wise investment.

Ensuring those centres are accessible is also so important for the movement of people without requiring vehicles that result in GHG emissions. While making my way through our riding I was struck by the advanced infrastructure on the main street of Smiths Falls. It provides for curb free sidewalks at intersections so those with mobility impairments, and who may use electric scooters or wheel chairs, may easily navigate the streets, as well as textured sections ahead of an intersection for those with sight impairments. Accessible washrooms and public buildings with doors that are easily operated are also important to allowing easy and open access to our residents. Federal funding has already resulted in the completion several such projects in our riding and we would benefit from many more.


Additional initiatives such as retrofit programs that partner with non-profit organizations like Habitat for Humanity to assist upgrading low income and affordable housing units to reduce GHGs could also be pursued. Low impact transportation corridors for small electric vehicles like electric bicycles and scooters would also greatly benefit our communities in reducing GHGs, not to mention dedicated bike lanes in our communities.


LFK also needs reliable and affordable high speed internet and cellular coverage, which allows our residents to work from home, attend medical appointments, conduct banking and attend school remotely when required. By permitting us to connect across a vast riding remotely we reduce our GHG emissions and work toward reducing the isolation so many of our aging population experiences.


Climate change will inevitably create new social/community structures and economic opportunities upon which our riding could benefit in a significant way. Our imperative is to see the possibilities, to invest in community and rural based solutions and innovation that leverages our strengths and areas of distinction and fosters cooperation for sustainability. There is so much we could be doing now to make a difference and there is reason to have hope, but we must act immediately. We need a voice from LFK at the table to ensure we continue to press for strong and swift action on climate change and to advocate for the needs of our residents, so we may improve their quality of life and move our riding forward. As your Member of Parliament I will fight to bring progressive change to Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston
.


Steve Garrison (NDP)

As an individual:

1. What changes have you made in your life in the past few years towards cutting your GHG emissions in half? 

GARRISON – I walk to work and to do most errands.  I consume less by avoiding large, wasteful purchases of unnecessary “stuff”. I recycle.  I buy many second-hand items.  I donate items for reuse.  I began gardening to grow some of my own food. I am buying more locally-grown food.

2. What will you do next on a personal level 

GARRISON – I would like to buy a zero-emissions vehicle and retrofit my home to make it greener. I will continue to consume and accumulate less, especially items that come with excessive packaging.

3. What actions have you taken as a volunteer or a professional in the past few years to persuade governments, corporations and individuals to cut their GHGs? 

GARRISON – I am a teacher; I regularly engage my students in activities, lessons, and discussions about the climate crisis and the need to be good stewards of the planet. As a Kingston city councillor, I worked with Maude Barlow and Joe Cressy (current Toronto city councillor) on the municipal bottled water ban issue. I lead the successful movement to ban the sale of bottled water in municipal facilities.

4. What have you learned recently about climate change that has changed the way you act or think?  

GARRISON – We are in the midst of a climate crisis and are running out of time; everyone must make significant behavioural changes to reduce their carbon footprint.

As our MP, will you lobby your Party and the Government to ensure that the following actions will be announced, funded and in place by 2025, and will you annually report to your constituents on the status/progress of these climate actions:

5. Transfer of the $18 billion the government now gives to support the fossil fuel sector to climate initiatives and green technologies (including research and development).

6. Accelerate the transition to EVs by announcing interim deadlines as steps up to the requirement that all new passenger vehicles sold in Canada be fully electric (or otherwise produce no GHGs) by 2035. Increase incentives for rural EV charging networks.

7.Mandate that beginning in 2023, all vehicles bought by the federal government and its agencies will be fully electric (or otherwise produce no GHGs and not use blue hydrogen).

8. By 2023, revise the National Building Code so buildings are built or renovated to LEED or Passive House standards of net zero/low carbon/no natural gas and support net-zero building research and design.

9. Re-invent a networked electricity system that will provide the power and infrastructure required to electrify our transportation and buildings with sources that are renewable and GHG emission free. To augment this, provide utility subsidies on an energy basis (i.e., $/kWh say for 20 yrs.) for new solar and wind installations over 5 kW.

10. Ensure that national and locally based food production is ramped up so that hunger is not an issue in Canada, that we cut our dependence on imported foods, and that all Canadians have access to affordable, nutritious foods.

11. Commit to Nature Based Climate Solutions by implementing and extending the current commitment to conserving 25 percent of Canada’s lands and oceans by 2025, to conserving 30% by 2030 and supporting Indigenous-led conservation. Provide incentives to property owners to protect existing vegetation as well as plant new.

12. Fund climate adaptation and local disaster preparedness programs. 

13. Strengthen and hasten the program to provide loan guarantees to enable County / municipal governments to provide interest-free loans for residential and commercial retrofit audits and renovations that take buildings off all fossil fuels, especially natural gas/methane.

GARRISON – The above recommendations are excellent.  As an MP, I will lobby my party to lead the way when it comes to tackling the climate crisis we are experiencing.  The NDP is committed to setting aggressive climate action targets.  We must move away from our reliance on fossil fuels and toward greater use of renewable energy sources.  The NDP will take climate leadership, building on Canada’s new net-zero law, by setting an ambitious target of reducing our emissions by at least 50% from 2005 levels by 2030. To help us reach that goal we would eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, put in place carbon budgets and change the mandate of the Bank of Canada to focus on contributing to net zero.

We will create good jobs in all regions, with green infrastructure investments that will ensure that working people are not left behind as the world moves to a zero-carbon economy. Our plan to create one million new good jobs will help rebuild local economies while helping vulnerable workers and those impacted by the shifting economy.

We will improve where we live and work, because these improvements help reduce carbon pollution, save money, and make life better for everyone. This means retrofitting all buildings in Canada by 2050. And we would create a National Crisis Strategy to help communities reduce and respond to climate risks, complimented by a new Climate Corps of young workers to respond to climate impacts and build an equitable clean-energy economy.

We will change how Canadians get around, because improving transit and getting our transportation infrastructure right will create jobs, strengthen communities, and reduce our carbon footprint. We will support transit by permanently doubling the Canada Community-Building Fund and we will develop a public inter-city bus program.

We will power our communities carbon-free, with a clean energy revolution to power Canada into the future. To do this we will set a target of net carbon-free electricity by 2030, and move to 100% non-emitting electricity by 2040. We will protect our land and water, safeguarding our outdoors to ensure a good quality of life for Canadians. This includes enshrining in law an Environmental Bill of Rights and protecting 30% of our land, freshwater and oceans by 2030.

And we will do it by working together, putting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – which is now law – into action in our collective fight against the climate crisis. And creating an Office of Environmental Justice to address the disproportionate impacts of pollution and loss of biodiversity on low-income, racialized and other marginalized communities

Re-opening and re-building our economy as we recover from COVID-19 will be a significant task – but as we take steps to help the recovery, we need to ensure a sustainable recovery.

We know that fighting inequality and fighting the climate crisis go hand in hand. Earlier this summer, New Democrats launched a plan to create over one million good jobs in a first mandate. Building for better means positioning Canada for the next economic boom – making sure that bold public investments are directed to clean energy, climate resilience, social infrastructure and energy efficiency in communities across the country.

Our plan will cut greenhouse gas emissions at the same time as it will create new good jobs in every part of the country. It will clean up our environment and make sure that water, air and land are protected from catastrophic climate change. It will create opportunity for today and build a strong foundation for generations to come.  I will communicate regularly with constituents about the progress we make achieving our climate action goals. 

As our MP, how would you work locally to:

14. Help our local municipal governments cut their own emissions in half in the next 10 years? For example, by requiring that all new municipal structures, such as Lanark Lodge, are built to LEED standards and providing 50-50 funds to enable that?

15. Help our local municipal governments help their constituents cut their own emissions in half in the next 10 years. For example, by supporting the development of a micro-transit system in Lanark County? By providing base funding for a local GHG mitigation centre that will provide the information residents and businesses need to act?

GARRISON – I would strongly encourage municipalities to adopt aggressive climate action policies that set the highest standards when it comes to municipal projects and services. I would provide support and link councils with any and all federal programs that would allow the above to take place.


Calvin Neufeld (Green)

As an individual:

1. What changes have you made in your life in the past few years towards cutting your GHG emissions in half? 

NEUFELD – The pandemic certainly has reduced the amount of driving I do! Regardless, I have worked from home for the past twelve years so I don’t drive much in general, and I am vegan which also goes a long way to reducing my environmental footprint. In the past few years I have tried to be much more mindful about buying local in-season foods (as much as I love avocados!). I also walk and bike as much as possible for errands around town, which is as good for my health as it is for the environment.

2. What will you do next on a personal level 

NEUFELD – I may have to stop buying avocados. Another way to reduce GHG emissions is to be mindful of how I drive when I drive. Fast acceleration burns considerably more fuel. Reducing speed and maintaining steady speed is an excellent way to reduce fuel use. I once spent six months exercising mindful driving practices and found that in optimal conditions I had reduced my fuel use by 30%. I would also like to do more at-home composting rather than defaulting to Green Bin use. Every time I put my Green Bin on the curb for pick-up (even though this is great to do!) I feel like I’m sending away black gold that could be going into my gardens and reducing the number of stops that the gas-guzzling compost trucks have to make each week. I have also considered asking my neighbours whether we could combine our recycling bins, again to reduce the number of stops the recycling trucks must make. What a difference it could make if these trucks could reduce their fuel consumption by, say, stopping and starting at every second house in town. It would save fuel, save money, save time, and help save the planet!

3. What actions have you taken as a volunteer or a professional in the past few years to persuade governments, corporations and individuals to cut their GHGs? 

NEUFELD – I have spent the past five years working with Evolve Our Prison Farms to persuade the federal government and the Correctional Service of Canada to transition Canada’s new prison farm program (being established in Kingston) away from industrial animal agriculture toward sustainable green agriculture. I have done this in collaboration with activists and academics who recognize the need for governments and institutions to model farming for the future. This advocacy has also resulted in prisoners writing to the Commissioner of CSC asking what changes correctional institutions will make to help address the climate crisis! (Note: CSC does not even recycle or compost – but many individual prisoners in minimum-security institutions do!)

4. What have you learned recently about climate change that has changed the way you act or think?  

NEUFELD – I am a passionate environmentalist and I have been following the unfolding climate crisis very closely for a very long time, so it’s hard to name something that I have learned recently that has come as a surprise. I suppose what comes most as a surprise these days is how many people still seem to act as though we’re not in the crisis we’re in. Especially as the worst impacts of the pandemic are easing, people seem in a rush to go back to “normal.” Indeed, the tourism and traffic levels are so much higher than ever! I worry greatly that we are going to bounce back worse than before, environmentally speaking, not better. So I work hard to raise awareness, with kindness and urgency, while continuing to do my best to be the change I want to see in the world.

As our MP, will you lobby your Party and the Government to ensure that the following actions will be announced, funded and in place by 2025, and will you annually report to your constituents on the status/progress of these climate actions:

5. Transfer of the $18 billion the government now gives to support the fossil fuel sector to climate initiatives and green technologies (including research and development).

6. Accelerate the transition to EVs by announcing interim deadlines as steps up to the requirement that all new passenger vehicles sold in Canada be fully electric (or otherwise produce no GHGs) by 2035. Increase incentives for rural EV charging networks.

7. Mandate that beginning in 2023, all vehicles bought by the federal government and its agencies will be fully electric (or otherwise produce no GHGs and not use blue hydrogen).

8. By 2023, revise the National Building Code so buildings are built or renovated to LEED or Passive House standards of net zero/low carbon/no natural gas and support net-zero building research and design.

9. Re-invent a networked electricity system that will provide the power and infrastructure required to electrify our transportation and buildings with sources that are renewable and GHG emission free. To augment this, provide utility subsidies on an energy basis (i.e., $/kWh say for 20 yrs.) for new solar and wind installations over 5 kW.

10. Ensure that national and locally based food production is ramped up so that hunger is not an issue in Canada, that we cut our dependence on imported foods, and that all Canadians have access to affordable, nutritious foods.

11. Commit to Nature Based Climate Solutions by implementing and extending the current commitment to conserving 25 percent of Canada’s lands and oceans by 2025, to conserving 30% by 2030 and supporting Indigenous-led conservation. Provide incentives to property owners to protect existing vegetation as well as plant new.

12. Fund climate adaptation and local disaster preparedness programs. 

13. Strengthen and hasten the program to provide loan guarantees to enable County / municipal governments to provide interest-free loans for residential and commercial retrofit audits and renovations that take buildings off all fossil fuels, especially natural gas/methane.

NEUFELD – Wonderful list. Yes!

As our MP, how would you work locally to:

14. Help our local municipal governments cut their own emissions in half in the next 10 years? For example, by requiring that all new municipal structures, such as Lanark Lodge, are built to LEED standards and providing 50-50 funds to enable that?

NEUFELD -I support everything that has been proposed above. I would also propose more virtual meetings to reduce the level of travel across this geographically expansive rural riding. I would support initiatives that help farmers transition from fossil inputs to organic, regenerative agriculture, and promote local farmers’ markets and creative incentives for grocery stores to favour local produce (much as Foodsmiths does in Perth). I would encourage the use of municipal lands for growing healthy produce for food banks and food insecure communities, fostering local food security, social justice, and community-building. We can also choose to reduce or eliminate meat from menus at social functions and government functions (as Germany and other countries have done) to promote healthier diets and environmental awareness.

15. Help our local municipal governments help their constituents cut their own emissions in half in the next 10 years. For example, by supporting the development of a micro-transit system in Lanark County? By providing base funding for a local GHG mitigation centre that will provide the information residents and businesses need to act?

NEUFELD -Education is key to solving the climate crisis. Our schools should incorporate environmental awareness programs into the curriculum and invite speakers who can inspire youth to become change-makers and “solutionaries” (Institute for Humane Education). Municipal, provincial, and federal governments need to do everything possible to make healthy choices easy for consumers. We should be encouraging bicycling as a primary mode of travel wherever possible, and improve accessibility to enable that (look at the Netherlands where 36% of Dutch people list the bicycle as their most frequent way of getting around on a typical day). We can increase the affordability and accessibility of public transportation, electric vehicles, and renewable heating and cooling technologies. Most importantly, we must never forget the magic word: less. As Robin Wall Kimmerer writes in her beautiful book Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants, it is good medicine for land and people alike if we live by the Honorable Harvest: take only what you need and use everything you take.

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