Re CRD motions on transportation and climate – February 17 Transportation Committee
Dear Capital Regional District Transportation Committee Members,
Thank you for voting on December 9, 2020 to develop a list of transportation priorities informed by the CRD’s declaration of a climate emergency and the CRD’s climate targets.
We now understand that you will be considering two related motions at the February 17 Transportation Committee meeting.
The CRD’s Advocacy Strategy refers to your Board Priorities. The CRD’s Priorities include “convenient, green and affordable multi-modal transportation systems that enhance community wellbeing.” These Priorities also include the CRD’s unanimous Climate Emergency Declaration, and state that is “urgent that we do our part to stabilize the climate [by taking] bold action on climate change.”
The CRD’s Advocacy Strategy also recognizes the importance of complementing the advocacy work of the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC), and the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM).
We support both motions put forward by CRD Director Ned Taylor and ask that you vote in favor for both:
1) Motion re CRD letter to Ministers Fleming and Ma:
We support the motion proposing that the CRD Board immediately write to Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Rob Fleming and Minister of State for Infrastructure, Bowinn Ma. The motion references important parts of the ministers’ mandate letters, and signals the CRD’s intention to take strong and effective action to meet its climate and mode share targets given the seriousness of the climate emergency. Failure to meet the CRD’s targets should not be considered a reasonable option.
As Minister Fleming’s riding is in the CRD and Minister Ma is a strong voice for sustainable transportation, the CRD is in a good position to advocate for the policies needed to meet CRD mode shift and climate targets.
2) Motion re UBCM Resolution B143 2019
We believe that the CRD should strongly support shifting investment to low-emission transportation across the Region, as the Federal and Provincial Governments committed to in the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.
It is our view that it will be much more difficult for the CRD to meet its mode share and climate targets without this framework being implemented by the Federal and Provincial Governments.
Under these circumstances, it follows that the CRD Board instruct CRD staff to examine South Island transportation options in keeping with the Pan-Canadian Framework as highlighted in resolution B143 from the Union of BC Municipalities 2019 convention.
The whole region, and particularly people living on lower incomes, would benefit from a shift of investments to public transit and active transportation as called for in the Pan-Canadian Framework.
A decisive shift in actual funding to improve public transit, walking and biking is the way to make transportation more affordable, improve public health and community livability, and rapidly reduce our carbon footprint.
Thank you again for showing real leadership with your unanimous climate emergency declaration. We ask that you maintain this leadership in your votes on these two motions.