FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020
Ecology Action Centre releases Halifax council candidates’ responses to environmental issues survey
K’JIPUKTUK (HALIFAX) – Ecology Action Centre has surveyed candidates running for Halifax Regional Municipality Council, providing them an opportunity to pledge their support for what the organization sees as some of the most critical environmental and social issues this election. The results of the candidate survey are now available on EAC’s website. The survey results provide insights on whether candidates support action on affordable housing, protection of the Halifax Green Network, and more.
“The results from this survey offer information to Haligonians to help better inform their votes,” says Maggy Burns, EAC’s Interim Executive Director. “From attendance at climate marches to overwhelming support for protecting Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes Regional Wilderness Park, we know that climate, nature, and environmental justice are on the minds of Haligonians. The unanimous approval of HalifACT, HRM’s first climate action plan, indicates that there is the political will for action, so it’s critical that we elect councilors committed to following through.”
The survey asked candidates 14 questions, including the opportunity for open-ended responses. EAC also hosted a private webinar open to all HRM candidates to discuss the survey, and answer any questions they had regarding environmental issues in HRM. Of the 82 council candidates, 34 completed the survey. There were no responses from candidates in Districts 6 and 16. And none of the mayoral candidates responded.
“The 2020 municipal election will set the tone of Halifax’s local environmental action for the next four years—the role of municipalities is more important than ever,” says Meredith Baldwin, Sustainable Cities Coordinator at EAC. “As we navigate the COVID-19 crisis alongside the climate crisis and biodiversity crisis, we must elect representatives, at every level of government, ready to tackle these crises and lead us in a just and green recovery.”
EAC is urging Haligonians to have their say and vote in this municipal election. In the 2016 election, less than one-third of HRM’s population voted. EAC has also created a toolkit to help residents who wish to engage with their municipal candidates directly.
Key results from EAC’s candidate survey:
- 94 percent of candidates who responded to the survey said yes, they will prioritize spending to achieve the HalifACT 2050 action plan to reduce HRM’s greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent by 2030 in order to do our fair share and remain below 1.5 degrees of warming.
- 100 percent of candidates who responded to the survey said yes, they support increased spending that supports safer spaces to walk, bike and roll in HRM.
- 91 percent of candidates who responded to the survey said yes, they are committed to introducing municipal regulations to limit short-term rentals and collaborating with the federal government to increase affordable housing stock.
Meredith Baldwin, Sustainable Cities Coordinator
Kelsey Lane, Senior Transportation Coordinator
Claire Parsons, Strategic Communications Manager