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Sustainability plan is now official

Council adopts document to provide guidelines for conservation

Powell River now has the action plan to initiate sustainability measures in all the city’s dealings.

After a lengthy and comprehensive process, City of Powell River Council, at its August 20 meeting, voted unanimously for the following recommendation: that the Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP) prepared by the Centre for Sustainability Whistler, in consultation with the sustainability steering committee, be approved, and that ICSP be forwarded to adjacent jurisdictions and key stakeholders.

During discussion prior to the motion, Councillor CaroleAnn Leishman said she wanted to thank Thomas Knight, the city’s director of planning services, for the part he played

in the exercise.

“He was fully embedded in this process and a big help along the way,” she said. “It’s been a challenge. Some of the meetings have been onerous and it has been a lengthy process, but I am very happy with how it has come out. I think it will be a really useful tool for us to use.”

Leishman said there is now a great action plan in place.

“I’m really quite proud, having worked on it,” she said.

Councillor Rob Southcott said it has been an honour to be part of the city’s sustainability steering committee that worked on the ICSP specifically.

“Prior to this project, there were many comments in the community that I received or was aware of expressing concerns that the sustainability charter was something that was a magnificent document that had been created, but what was being done?”

Southcott said he really hopes that the amount of work put into creating a sustainability plan and the considerable money allocated will have an impact in the community.

He added that he was inspired by the input provided by Knight.

“His expertise really enhanced the very fine services provided by the Whistler group,” Southcott said.

He is hoping elements of the ICSP can be applied to moving forward with conservation, reducing energy consumption and emissions for the city.

“I’m very optimistic all of the work we’ve done can now really engage,” he said. “We can now do something that really works for us and our greater world, as well.”

Mayor Dave Formosa said the ICSP had been a great community and city council effort. He said the city has already begun to implement some of the suggestions found within the ICSP document.

Formosa added that components of the ICSP document will be integrated into the city’s strategic planning.

“There will never be any reason for it to sit on the shelf because it will be integrated with the economic development plan, and living within our means, and the asset management plan, which actually drives what we do every day,” Formosa said. “As we move our economy forward, with our sustainability issues, we are making sure we keep our commitments to legislation and the government for the environment. Away we go.”

Council then considered a second recommendation pertaining to the ICSP process. A motion was introduced to dissolve the sustainability steering committee.

Southcott said he had reservations about disbanding the committee in spite of his confidence in the mayor’s statements.

“I still feel a sense of caution about making sure this work is fully engaged,” Southcott said. He added that he feels a commitment to ensure that will happen.

There has been some discussion about having a committee specifically dedicated to following this up but Southcott concedes it is probably unnecessary if the city is conscientious in its application of it.

Council unanimously carried a motion to disband the committee.