Municipalities key to a greener future: Elizabeth May (04/06/2017)
FCM President Clark Somerville issued the following statement today after an address by Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May at FCM's Annual Conference: Shaping Canada's Future (Ottawa, June 1-4).
"I want to thank Elizabeth May for sharing the Green Party of Canada's priorities with 2,000+ municipal leaders gathered here in Ottawa today. Shaping Canada's future starts locally, and Ms. May has been a steadfast champion for local solutions to national and global challenges.
Many Canadians recognize Ms. May as a leading environmentalist, writer and lawyer - and as her party's first elected Member of Parliament. Under her leadership, the Green Party has consistently vouched for local governments' role in building a sustainable and inclusive Canada.
We cannot build that better Canada without confronting climate change head-on. It's the challenge of our times, and municipalities are on its front lines. They bear the brunt of extreme weather events, and together influence half of Canada's greenhouse (GHG) emissions. Many are also leading the way on green innovation - from district heating to building retrofits, from clean transit to low-GHG waste systems.
In the words of Ms. May today: 'The municipal order of government has always been in the lead on climate, and FCM has always been the foundational, organizational expert knowledge for how to cut greenhouse gasses, while saving money in municipal budgets.'
Today, some of the richest potential to reduce Canada's GHG emissions lies in scaling up this local innovation. Municipalities are doing their part with tools available, but they cannot succeed alone. This work will require commitment and investment across all orders of government.
FCM works closely with Canada's opposition parties to keep local priorities like these on the national agenda. The Green Party continues to be a strong advocate, not just for bold climate action, but for economic innovation, strong infrastructure, and other issues that matter. And we'll continue working with Ms. May, her party and all federal parties to shape Canada future."
Clark Somerville is a local/regional councillor for the Town of Halton Hills and Halton Region. His one-year term as FCM President concludes on June 4, 2017.
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