Mayor of The Blue Mountains: Official Plan needs “real teeth” on climate change

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The Blue Mountains Mayor Alar Soever would like to see the town’s current review of its Official Plan conclude with the document having stronger policies to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

“We really need to have the tools in our Official Plan,” said Mayor Soever. “We’re not living up to a lot of the Official Plan. We do need to put real teeth in the Official Plan.”

Mayor Soever made the comments at The Blue Mountains committee of the whole meeting held on April 26. At the meeting, the committee received a report from Sally Leppard of the Climate Action Now Network (CANN) regarding climate change policies CANN would like to see included in the Official Plan.

In her report, Leppard said the current Official Plan review is the ideal time for The Blue Mountains to implement planning policies to help address climate change concerns. Leppard noted that the current Official Plan uses words like “may”, “promote” and “encourage” about policies, including increased density and intensification of development, to address climate change.

“We must strengthen our commitment to a sustainable community,” said Leppard.

The presentation from CANN received positive comments from members of council.

“The work being done, it’s forward thinking and it’s grassroots. Kudos to you for a job well done,” said Deputy Mayor Peter Bordrignon, who praised CANN’s efforts to have items like drywall and styrofoam recycled.

The committee voted to receive CANN’s report for information and included a clause in the resolution requesting the steering committee conducting the Official Plan review “give serious consideration” to its contents.

Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,

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