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?
FR: We must work together to sustain what we already have in our beautiful town, our harbour is great the way it is, our downtown area is slowly improving and we must stay focused and work to help new business get started, but make sure they stay in the downtown area and encourage more people to shop downtown. Revitalization will work if we all work together to make it happen.
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?
FR: This is a real problem, climate change is already here, we need to work together as a council to make sure we buy more eco vehicles for replacement of old ones, encourage more walking and biking for short trips to stores and banks, encourage more people to install solar panels for a form of energy. Some of our town buildings are already using solar panels, leading by example should encourage more people to follow, I would hope we can reduce GHG by 30% but would try for 50%.
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?
FR: I will work with our planning staff to help develop an [ICSP] an Integrated Community Sustainability Plan, as soon as we can get our Official Plan approved by the Province, as an objection was filed against it three years ago, it will be time to review it again, I worked with planning in the past to have trails in all new developments promoted, and we have some very good examples of that in the west end. I want the community to feel wanted so I will encourage more people to volunteer for different committees, recreation, active transportation, trails committees and planning. Getting more people means more ideas.
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?
FR: As a council we must work together to encourage more bike lanes and trails for all people in the Town of Cobourg, the status quo is not sufficient enough for a growing community, we are now experiencing more e bikes and motorized scooters, as a council member I will try to make sure in the next term we address this growing problem by working with staff and the Active Transportation Committee to get a better transit system and better ways of getting around town. I have worked with a lot of committees in the past and we have more bike lanes and more trails than we had five years ago. It would be nice to be recognized as the best bicycle friendly town in Ontario. Yes I would sign a pledge to work towards these goals.