Environmental issues are of concern to a majority of people living in the Cowichan Valley. What environmental issues in North Cowichan would you focus on if you are elected and what steps would you take to improve our environment?
We are the only stewards of the natural environment. It's up to us. If we want keep our ecosystems alive and healthy, we need to get serious about it now.
According to the United Nation's 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, two-thirds of the direct benefits people obtain from biodiversity are currently being degraded or used unsustainably.
These "ecosystem services" include:
- providing materials such as food, fuels and fibres;
- regulating climate, disease outbreaks, wastes and pollination;
- supporting processes such as nutrient cycling and water purification; and,
- providing opportunities for aesthetic, recreational and spiritual use
- To ensure we have an inventory of our ecological assets and how they are managing.
- To ensure we have an inventory of poisonous and other invasive species from Hogweed and Poison Hemlock to Scotch Broom and American Bullfrogs with a comprehensive plan to eradicate them.
- To work for continued assessment of sensitive areas.
- To support the recommendations in the CVRD State of the Environment Report
- To work to follow the CVRD's lead and aim for 'Zero Waste'
- To apply for grants that help us to support and improve the environment.
Above all, ensure any future development take the needs of the environment into consideration in every decision. Water, waste, growth, transportation - all need to be seen through the light of protecting the environment we all depend on.
I believe North Cowichan could be offering so much: public transportation, low-impact recreation, local food security, affordable housing, smart development in our vibrant growth areas, clean water, clean air, sustainable forestry practices, green businesses and well-paying jobs. If we have to grow, I want North Cowichan to attract people who love it here and want to protect what makes it special.
Let's work together to leave a legacy for our children and grandchildren.