Gibsons Briefs: Climate emergency and single-use plastic ban

Alliance4Democracy is hoping the Town of Gibsons will take on initiatives to combat climate change, including adding solar power and hot water systems to Town buildings and changing bylaws to require other new buildings to be “electric vehicle ready.”

Speaking as a delegation at the April 2 meeting, the Alliance’s Bet Cecill also urged council to ban single-use plastics. The previous council had discussed a ban on plastic bags in 2018, but the idea didn’t move forward.

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“I think if there’s a motion in the works, it should be a serious look at [all] plastics from election signs on down,” said Coun. David Croal.

Mayor Bill Beamish also mentioned the Sunshine Coast Regional District-sponsored resolution on declaring a “climate emergency” to be presented at the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities AGM.

He said that would have to be considered very carefully. “A number of communities are going in that direction. I just want to make sure we are ready to declare a climate emergency because it does colour everything we do after that.”

Youth councillor Sacha Stipec, talking later in the meeting about the March 15 “Climate Strike” by local students, said she felt “the youth in the community, in Gibsons, and I think this is reflective of Canada and the world in general, are really, really involved in this climate change issue … and wanting to be more involved in politics and public policy.”

RCMP staffing

Sunshine Coast RCMP Staff Sgt. Poppy Hallam told council April 2 that the detachment is experiencing a bit of a temporary staffing shortage, but expects to be welcoming new members soon.

In her regular quarterly update, Hallam said the detachment is in the middle of “staffing changeovers,” which will include bringing in three new corporals, including one who will take on a community policing role.

“We’ve got lots of changes happening and we’re still dealing with some shortages,” Hallam told council.

Hallam said that the detachment is about eight members short of a full complement and that has meant doing things like getting special permission for her, as detachment commander, to take on some general duty shifts and move other officers temporarily out of special duties.

“Unfortunately, our Indigenous policing service section doesn’t have anyone [assigned] at the moment, just so that we can run a full watch so that we’ve got as many frontline police officers working as we can.”

Hallam predicted that most of the gaps would be filled by June.

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