Keeping the Environment in the Conversation: 15 Questions To Ask Your Municipal Candidates
With municipal elections only 20 days away, we need to know where our candidates stand on the environment. In collaboration with the Canadian Freshwater Alliance and Fraser Riverkeeper, we’ve written up some questions to ask candidates who come knocking at your door or at the next all-candidates meeting.
1. Do you see municipalities playing an integral role in managing freshwater for the benefit of the natural environment?
2. Environmental degradation can have big consequences for economic activity. As an elected official, what are three actions you will take to ensure that economic development does not negatively impact our local environment and water?
3. What is your perspective on the best ways to collaborate with First Nations and other levels of government to ensure freshwater is sustainably managed?
4. How highly do you rate collaborating with First Nations on managing for freshwater sustainability in your community?
5. How highly do you rate collaborating with other levels of government for managing freshwater sustainability in your community?
6. How highly do you rate collaborating with ENGOs and stewardship groups for managing freshwater sustainability in your community?
7. The past few years have seen a new intensity of flooding, drought and wildfires in B.C. If elected, will you support the advancement of local watershed decision making to protect your community from water insecurity?
8. Do you support incorporating environmental values into your city’s flood management strategy to ensure fish-friendly infrastructure?
9. Will you support the protection of undeveloped floodplain habitat in the lower Fraser region?
10. Will you support incorporating green infrastructure into city planning. Green infrastructure can include rain gardens, bioswales, riparian enhancement, fish-friendly flood infrastructure, green shores and other tools to adapt to climate change.
11. What steps will you take, as a municipal representative, to improve our recreational water quality and reduce the number of water quality advisories each summer?
12. How will you improve public access to reliable and up-to-date recreational water quality data?
13. Canadian cities and towns are some of the biggest consumers of water in the world, third only to the USA and the United Arab Emirates. What is one thing you can do to promote smarter water monitoring and consumption practices to in your municipality?
14. The ecosystem provides us with numerous services for free. We believe it is our responsibility to ensure these services continue into perpetuity. Would you support a minimum Ecosystems Services Fee to support the funding of a watershed board or round table along with monitoring and stewardship programs?
15. Do you support a review of water rental rates for water users currently paying for the water we use (B.C. charges some of the lowest rates for water use in Canada at $2.25 per million litres)?