Port Alberni council endorses climate, food security measures

Pared-down list includes market-garden, home conversion incentives

Mike Youds,

Special to the News

Council has voted firmly in favour of five shelf-ready recommendations from the city’s food security and climate disruption committee, including support for a centralized food distribution network in Port Alberni.

Councillor Chris Alemany said at Monday’s regular meeting that the recommendations are the “low-hanging fruit” among a lengthier list of 10 first proposed by the committee.

“It’s a package that’s ready and that can be adopted or not adopted by council,” he said.

The package includes:

1. That the city’s parks and recreation department incorporate public education programming on back yard composing.

2. That the committee investigate how the city might join other municipalities and levels of government in current or future class action lawsuits against fossil fuel corporations over mitigation costs for climate change.

3. That the city expand its current in oil-to-heat-pump conversion program, which offers a financial incentive to city homeowners, to include woodstoves.

4. That the city contact community stakeholders to encourage establishment of a centralized food distribution in the community.

5. That city staff look into adoption of the ACRD’s Water for Growth recommendations. Specifically, these include a residential rainwater harvesting rebate program (two per year at $750), a residential food-garden watering billing credit (10 per year at $50 each) and a community garden water rate ($1 per year).

The class-action recommendation drew initial concern from some on council.

“This isn’t a motion to participate in any action,” Alemany explained, indicating that the committee would merely look into the matter and report back to council.

“I appreciate your clarification,” said Councillor Ron Paulson. “This is the one that really had me kind of mind-boggled a bit. I just want to make the sure that we don’t get dragged into some sort of social disobedience as a municipality.”

The conversion incentives take advantage of the province’s recent inclusion of woodstoves in its program.

“This woodstove-to-heat-pump is brand new,” Alemany said. Only one resident took advantage of the oil conversion incentive and the program would see greater uptake from including woodstoves, he said.

In the case of the food distribution network, the hope is to foster a more effective approach.

“There is an acknowledgement that there is a ton of food out there,” Alemany said. “It’s just not being distributed as efficiently as it could be.” The network approach has worked well in Nanaimo, he noted.

With its Water for Growth, the ACRD looked at how to encourage more food production in the region through various incentives. It falls to each municipality to choose which incentives to adopt locally.

A committee would consider applications in the case of the food-garden billing credit, Alemany said.

“It’s meant for residents who are creating a market garden, where they’re potentially going to be providing not only their own food but food for the community and covering a small amount of their overage.”

Denis Sauve raised concern about the limited scope of the water incentives, with only a few residents able to take advantage.

Alemany said the idea is to respond to demand as interest in the program grows.

“The committee would love for it to be more. If the committee got 100 applications, I think the committee would be absolutely ecstatic and the next thing you would see is a request from the committee to increase the number.”

Just Posted

Newcomer Helen Poon declares intent to run for Port Alberni city council

Helen Poon has announced her intention to run for city council of… Continue reading

Foul play not suspected in man’s death in Chemainus

Long attempt made to revive unidentified person on the dock

Micro housing pitched for former school lot in Port Alberni

Project a model for poverty reduction, says SunRay Village Paradigm Foundation

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District considers cannabis use

Public will have say on new rules in September, before marijuana use becomes legal

Fire crews ‘mop up’ Arbutus Ridge fire in Port Alberni

Smoky Skies Bulletin issued for Vancouver Island

Social media, digital photography allow millennials to flock to birdwatching

More young people are flocking to birdwatching than ever, aided by social media, digital photography

Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen pleads guilty in hush-money scheme

Said he and Trump arranged payment to porn star Stormy Daniels and a former Playboy model to influence the election

Former Trump aide Paul Manafort found guilty of eight charges

A mistrial has been declared for the other 10 charges against him

Canada’s team chasing elusive gold medal at women’s baseball World Cup

Canada, ranked No. 2 behind Japan, opens play Wednesday against No. 10 Hong Kong

Former B.C. detective gets 20 months in jail for kissing teen witnesses

James Fisher, formerly with Vancouver police department, pleaded guilty to three charges in June

Former B.C. premier Christy Clark criticizes feds for buying pipeline

The $4.5 billion purchase of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline second worst decision, she said

New B.C. Hydro electric car chargers launch on Vancouver Island

Fast-chargers to reduce ‘range anxiety’ for B.C. electric car drivers

‘Takes more courage to fail’: B.C. ultra-marathon swimmer reflects on cancelled try at record

Susan Simmons halted her swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back because of hypothermia

Animals moved from B.C. Interior shelters to make way for pets displaced by wildfires

The Maple Ridge SPCA houses animals to make space for pets evacuated from B.C.’s burning interior.

Most Read