Aaron Burchat’s Response to Sustainability Questionnaire

SC: Sustainability – what does this mean to you, with respect to Cobourg, and how would you ensure that these issues are addressed in your term as a Councillor?
SC: Climate change – is one of the greatest, global threats in our time. Current Canadian greenhouse gas emission levels must be reduced by 50% within the next 6 years (by 2020) to address climate change issues. If elected to Council what measures will you propose that Cobourg take to both reduce the town’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to help enable Cobourg residents to do the same? What GHG reduction target will you set for Cobourg for the end of your Council term?

SC: Town planning – amendments to the Cobourg Official Plan require the development of an Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP) for the town. This plan will address water and energy conservation, air quality protection, waste reduction, environmental monitoring and taking various other initiatives. If elected to Council what deadline will you propose for completing this plan? What resources will you propose for its completion? How will you involve the community in the development of this plan?
SC: Transportation – has for many years been designed for automobile usage at the expense of other forms of transportation. This has caused many problems related to health and climate change. If elected to Council what would you do to promote and action changes to the transportation systems within Cobourg? As “active transportation” (cycling, walking, in-line skating, etc.) has emerged as one possible solution, how would you ensure that Cobourg continues to improve the Town for active transportation? Would you be prepared to sign a pledge to support active transportation within Cobourg?

AB: I feel that a sustainable Cobourg is very important, as I am a father of 3, and care that we leave this world better for our future generations.  I support your organization’s Bicycle Action Committee, and making sure that when developing or improving Cobourg’s infrastructure, we are sure to include bicycle lanes as well as adequate accessible sidewalks for pedestrians.  I am very interested in renewable energy sources such as the use of solar panels, windmills, or geothermal, as an alternative.  I don’t feel comfortable making promises that I can achieve obtaining such things for Cobourg prior to being in the council position and being more aware of what control I would have, but I definitely support bringing those into Cobourg if we are able to include it into the budget.  I am currently looking into getting solar panels for my own home.  I also support the use of more sustainable building materials, like bamboo.

Part of creating a sustainable Cobourg is not only changing the actions that we ourselves are taking, but to go into the schools and educate our children about the importance of recycling and conserving energy by shutting off water when not in use, and only using lights when necessary, for example.

I hope this answers some of your questions appropriately, I’m sorry I don’t have exact plans and timelines of execution, but know that your organization does have my support and I have signed the Active Transportation pledge.

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