Protecting our environment and responding to climate change

Metro Vancouver is already experiencing the impacts of climate change, with sea-level rise, wildfire activity and extreme weather events threatening to significantly impact our air quality, economy and overall livability.

Unprecedented wildfire activity in western North America has resulted in a record-breaking number of Air Quality Advisories over the past several years. It is expected that these smoky skies will continue, along with drier, hotter summers and warmer, wetter winters. These changes will significantly impact the quality of life in the region and will have severe financial impacts for residents, businesses and governments.

As our region’s population continues to grow, it’s more important than ever to protect and preserve sensitive ecosystems and green spaces, including Regional Parks. Addressing environmental issues and helping local governments be better prepared must be among the top priorities– otherwise future generations will pay the price.

More about the Issue

Climate 2050 Caring for the Air Regional Parks Plan Metro Vancouver’s Sensitive Ecosystems

QuestionS

 

If elected, will your party commit to at least doubling the $2 billion Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund in consultation with local governments?

 

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    Metro Vancouver is already experiencing the effects of climate change with hotter summers and warmer, wetter winters. These seasonal changes in weather patterns are anticipated to result in extended drought periods, an increase in rainfall intensity and a one-metre rise in sea level by 2100.

    It is essential to ensure Metro Vancouver’s infrastructure is resilient to the changing climate and other potential disasters. If we don’t prepare, this level of environmental change will significantly affect the quality of life in the region and have severe financial impacts for residents, businesses and governments.

    The federal Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund currently commits $2 billion nationwide to resiliency projects and upgrades, but this is not enough to meet the needs of all communities across the country. This could result in worthy projects being postponed, putting communities at risk.


If elected, will your party commit to improving regulatory standards for air, marine and rail emissions to help Metro Vancouver and others fight against air pollution and climate change?

 

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    Metro Vancouver is in the process of implementing a regional climate strategy—Climate 2050—that will guide climate change policy and action in the region over the next 30 years. Metro Vancouver’s Board has also committed to becoming a carbon neutral region by 2050.

    In order to achieve these ambitious goals, greater federal regulations are required to address greenhouse gas emissions on a national level. This includes strengthening regulations around emissions from air, marine and rail modes of transportation as they contribute over one-third of the region’s total greenhouse gas emissions.


If elected, will your party support the acquisition and protection of regional parkland and ecological conservancy areas?

 

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    With Metro Vancouver adding 35,000 people every year and the number of park visitors rapidly increasing, our regional parks are quickly reaching their capacity. In order to maintain livability for current and future generations, we need to ensure a vibrant and robust regional parks system.

    Between 2009 and 2014, over 1,600 hectares of sensitive ecosystems across the Metro Vancouver region were lost—the equivalent of losing four Stanley Parks over five years. Ten percent of the region is made up of sensitive terrestrial ecosystems that could still be protected.

    But in the face of escalating land costs and development pressure, acquiring new parkland and ecological conservation areas has become increasingly difficult. Although the Canada Nature Fund in 2018 committed $500 million for ecological conservancy activities, local governments were not identified as eligible participants.

    With a limited ability to raise funds, Metro Vancouver will need support from other orders of government if we are to protect these sensitive areas and preserve parkland for current and future generations. This has been highlighted in Metro Vancouver’s Regional Parks Land Acquisition 2050 Strategy where Metro Vancouver outlines the need for partnership and collaboration with the federal government in order to acquire park lands.