A Greener Port Hope
I’ve been asked my position on Port Hope and the environment. It’s a rich topic, that we have seen the effects of here in Port Hope.
Recent severe weather, and the increase in such events in coming years, must be taken seriously. Flooding kept the town on its toes in 2017 and 2018. In 2017, we had unprecedented flooding during the spring melt that re-established the high-water mark in Lake Ontario and left paths and beaches severely damaged. This year, ice floes clogged the river’s exit leading to water creeping surprisingly close to town hall; the spectre of 1980 still looms large.
There are several things we can do to address this at the municipal level. Work has begun to market Port Hope as a green municipality following the PHAI clean-up. I think this is an excellent opportunity for Port Hope and support this direction, including:
- Green energy installations to power public spaces.
- Environmentally friendly design to the center pier walkways and infrastructure
- Design features along the river to minimize human impact and protect the migrating fish.
- Working with nearby educational institutions to put on educational and interactive displays or expo-style installations.
A greener strategic direction would help change how people think about our municipality but also in how we come together as a community. Local business examples like Olympus Burger’s recent green efforts are something I’d like to help others pursue. I can see programming such as:
- Local businesses helping each other find green solutions that save money;
- River- and waterfront cleanup aided by town hall messaging;
- Educational walks in green spaces to help our community better appreciate outdoor spaces; and,
- Green programming coordinating with the change in waste management in 2019 to help homeowners compost, and divert and reduce waste.
The town doesn’t have to be the experts on these matters either. I support initiatives that rely on our citizens’ knowledge base, such as:
- Consultations with environmentally-minded groups to ensure that beaches and fragile waterways are developed so as to be practical, sustainable, and to minimize impact.
- Linking the rural Ganaraska with our waterfront development to help people understand how waterways influence a community’s economy and ecology.
- A fun way to do this that I’ve heard members of the HBIA and fellow candidate, Ian Everdell, discuss is to plant local crops in high-visibility locations throughout town as a way of increasing awareness of the local economy.
- Having an open-door policy for environmental groups to meet with the town to discuss waste-reduction strategies.
In my view, stewardship of the environment — how we protect and use what we have — is a vital community-building opportunity. There are too many benefits from an environmental approach to ignore that will make Port Hope a better place.