My door-step conversations often include discussions on how the city can better address and properly plan for climate change.
Climate change of course is a topic in most cities, but more so in our city as we have felt the damaging impact of severe weather events.
People who have heard me speak often hear me state that we need to think long before we think short. By this I mean we need to envision where we wish to be at a defined point in the future and plan the best path forward to achieve the desired outcome. This pre-planning must include pre establishing climate change outcomes and targets.
We are a growing city and as we grow over the course of time, new infrastructure will be built, existing infrastructure will be replaced, new equipment such as vehicles will be purchased, and other municipal assets will be replaced. This all needs to occur under a climate change point of view.
I believe as a city we need to be all in on climate change. It cannot be a portfolio that is merely added as a job function to an existing position. We need a subject matter expert on board, someone who’s sole task is to lead the charge, to develop long-term corporate and community strategies. Someone who can provide council with solid advice and present well thought out move forward recommendations for council approval.
We need staff on board, not consultants. My experience with far too many consultants is that they come in, borrow your watch, proceed to tell you what time it is and then off they go. No thanks. Something as critical as the climate needs a firm council commitment, and that means having staff that are accountable to the CAO and Council to lead the way.
The task ahead is significant we need to pre plan how we innovate our Industry, transform our buildings, look at how we change the way we move (transit, etc.), how we recycle - re-use- re-purpose existing assets and how to best grow green.