EH! questions answered

Responses to environmentally themed questions from candidates for the Oct. 24 election. Environment Haliburton! has received 22 responses to our environmentally themed questions from the 41 candidates for the Oct. 24 municipal elections.

1) What actions have you personally taken to live a more sustainable lifestyle and lower your greenhouse gas emissions?
2) What opportunities for climate leadership and/or environmental protection do you see at the municipal level, i.e. lowering greenhouse gas emissions in the building sector, land use planning, transportation or other?
3) What long term solutions do you envision for the protection of wetlands and water quality in Haliburton County?
4) Do you support the implementation of the shoreline preservation bylaw in its current form with authority for its implementation given to Haliburton County?
5) Would you support County Climate Plan greenhouse emission targets that are based on a fair share of the cuts required to keep global warming at or below 1.5 Celsius?

The answers ranged widely.
The answers to question one included composting, recycling, LED lighting, geo-thermal or  airforce heat pump heating, car pooling, energy efficient appliances, smart planning of car trips to minimize fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions, leaving parts of property unmowed and thus better habitat for pollinators, birds and wildlife, growing some of their own food and not idling their vehicles and taking fewer trips requiring aviation.
The answers to question two included encouraging renewable resources such as solar and low carbon heating options such as heat pumps, using low carbon types of building materials, installing good quality windows, land use planning that protected our natural assets such as forests, wetlands, and waterways. Several candidates advocated support for community gardens to protect against food insecurity. In addition, more electric vehicle charging stations  should be in place in central locations.
To question three, candidate responses included protecting land zoned as Environmental Protection from being rezoned for residential or commercial use.
Question four’s responses ranged widely but many felt that although the shoreline preservation bylaw is not perfect, it is a good start. Tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayers money have been spent consulting with experts and other counties with tourist based economies in the writing of the shoreline preservation bylaw. The costs of enforcement may be minimized with better education. Some felt that waterfront property owners should be obliged to renaturalize. Also, that we should be better protecting our lakes against invasive species.
To questions five, some candidates responded that although we should bear our fair share of the reduction of greenhouse gases needed to stay below the Paris target of 1.5 degrees Celsius, that it may require lobbying of provincial and federal governments for funding to do so. More rebates are  necessary to achieve goals.
The individual candidates’ responses to the questions outlined above can be found on Environment Haliburton!’s website at

Submitted by Susan Hay,
President, Environment Haliburton!