Have your say! Saanich Climate Action

Saanich’s draft Climate Action Plan is available for Saanich residents to look at and provide their feedback. This is an important opportunity for everyone to think and talk about how our future growth and how we can take action to cut greenhouse gases.

Three Open House sessions on the draft plan are coming up: November 19, 24, and 30 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Salvation Army Citadel at 4030 Douglas Street. I hope that residents will come out to the sessions and let Councillors and staff know what they think about the initiatives in the plan and share their ideas about how we can meet our one-third reduction target by 2020.

Transportation accounts for 62 percent of our greenhouse gases in Saanich. The plan contains a number of steps to dramatically reduce vehicles emissions. In the short-term, the plan calls for more sidewalks and bikelanes, improved bus shelters, corporate car pooling and bus passes. In the longer-term, it calls for a district-wide mobility action plan and rapid transit on the Douglas corridor.

To cut vehicle emissions and traffic congestion, as well as meet the mobility needs of our residents, we need to make public transit the “smart” choice — by investing in a more efficient, reliable, and desirable transit service. We must also improve our cycling and pedestrian networks to let commuters on foot or bike travel safely and quickly on our busy corridors.

Enhancing our transportation system with rapid transit, dedicated transit corridors, frequent and dependable service, and connected pedestrian and cyclist rights-of-way will provide commuters with the desirable transportation alternatives that will help us achieve our one-third reduction.

I encourage everyone to take a few moments to look at the draft Climate Action Plan on the Saanich website (www.climateaction.saanich.ca) where they can comment by email, letter, or a feedback form. Even better, I hope that as many as can, will stop by one of the open houses. Council will consider all the feedback from citizens, businesses and organizations.

The climate challenge is our common challenge. We must all work together to cut emissions and achieve our target. It starts with the action plan. Don’t miss your chance to be heard!