Find out where the Port Moody candidates stand on . . . the environment

photo supplied Kathy Corbeil, Tri-City Photography Club

Given the increasing importance of Port Moody’s tree canopy, we asked candidates the following question:

Is the city doing enough to protect trees and waterways?

Dustin Chelen

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While the city has strong environmental protection policies, we need to stop approving developments that cut down massive amounts of our forests when there is unused and underused land in Moody Centre that makes more sense to develop.

David Stuart

I think they are attempting to move forward on the is agenda but have received pushback, especially on the waterfront from those who value property rights above the environment. The last attempt to make improvements in this area failed and likely requires a lot more education and engagement before we can move forward.

Kyla Knowles

I am very encouraged by the protections we currently have in place for our 40+ watersheds; robust stewardship, protection and ongoing monitoring is important, particularly in the context of risks related to development. I am a strong advocate of increasing our tree canopy (and other climate resilient plants) throughout the city wherever possible. Tree canopy shade is vital in reducing heat due to climate change.

Haven Lurbiecki

Our city has done some good work regarding environmental protection and climate change over the years. However we need to do more as we grapple with the climate crisis and other environmental changes connected to human activity. Protecting and enhancing our urban tree canopy and waterways is critical to mitigating climate impacts and protecting our environment. A healthy environment supports healthy people.

When on council I will (1) ensure we complete and implement our Urban Forest Management Strategy on how we will protect and increase our tree canopy coverage; (2) finish and implement our Parkland Acquisition Strategy so Port Moody can plan for the much needed park expansion in areas such as Moody Centre and Rocky Point Park. Park expansion provides an opportunity to focus on adding to our urban tree canopy; and (3) work directly with residents to plan for protection of watercourses and our ecosystems as we face new cumulative impacts of development.

Samantha Agtarap

We have a tree inventory, Parks and Recreation Master plan, require stream daylighting, and bylaws that embed provincial and federal laws. We also have a climate action plan that includes actions protecting the natural environment (ESA Management Strategy, erosion and sediment control, urban forest management strategy, natural asset management plan).

Amy Lubik (incumbent)

The urban forestry strategy and tree protection bylaw update that I brought forward last term are important steps but need to be completed by the next council. I also want to see the city implement more green infrastructure programs and monitoring programs to support healthy waterways.

Hunter Madsen (incumbent)

It’s been coming along more slowly than I would have preferred, but the City does have comprehensive urban-forest management plans in the works, coming for Council approval in 2023. As for waterways, we’ll need to revisit the controversial ESA arena next term to make sure that our sensitive riparian areas are being optimally cared for, and that homeowners are not being unfairly burdened.

Callan Morrison

I have seen some amazing work to protect and enhance our creek beds when new developments are proposed and I intend to continue to encourage daylighting of creeks, and protection of our green spaces. We need to look at growth in a way in which we can do responsibly, and at the same time add to our greenspaces and parks, protect our tree canopy, and even enhance waterways and creeks to a better state than it was prior.

Steve Milani (mayoral candidate)

Yes and no. While our tree protection bylaw is usually adequate, it falls short on projects like the re-development of Coronation Park. Council should not allow 14.88 acres of 60-year-old growth to be cut down and replaced mainly with concrete. We should be protecting our tree canopy.

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