Dustin Dame

Following are the answers given by the candidate. See other candidates

1.  What actions have you personally taken to support a more sustainable climate?

My family has made numerous changes to our lifestyle including minimizing vehicle use by reducing to a single car, moving my workshop and office to our home to eliminate commute, replacing our home’s oil furnace with a heat pump, reducing our family’s meat intake, purchasing from local farms and food producers or growing our own food as much as possible, and avoiding single use plastics in our home and business. We also actively educate ourselves and our children on the issue. 

2.  What opportunities do you see at your municipal/electoral area/school board level to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

Regular thorough reviews of city policy and practices needs to take place to see where changes can be made, such as (but not limited to):

  • Elimination of the use of chemicals that harm pollinators, such as Roundup
  • Prioritization of keeping development within existing developed areas where possible and protecting green spaces
  • Investment in making our city safer and more convenient to travel by bike and foot
  • Subsidizing and incentivizing green initiatives such as the woodstove replacement program
  • Protecting our waterways and watershed 
  •  Building connection and consultation with environmental experts
  • Continuing to focus on planting trees whenever and wherever possible
  • Continuing to support and partner with green energy producing companies (such as Upnit Power Corporation) 
  • Take advantage of available grants that make it easier for the city and residents to transition to greener practices

3. What will you do, if elected, to overcome polarization in local politics around the challenges of climate change and to build a middle ground that encourages listening, understanding, and consensus that can move climate change action forward?

This is a huge subject that requires open dialogue and listening as much speaking. It is the city’s responsibility to communicate accurate information in a clear and understandable way, while also offering a listening ear to the concerns of the public. Allowing those conversations to take place is key, but elected officials must be prepared with accurate information and current science on the matter in order to correct misinformation. At the municipal level I believe there is great opportunity to build genuine relationship and engage in conversation with people who oppose your views. This builds trust, which I believe is the only way to truly bridge the gap. 

4. What opportunities do you see for climate leadership in the following sectors? Please pick at least two.
Transportation, Housing, Land use and Development, Equity.

Port Alberni has a number of prospective developments in the works that we have a considerable amount of control over. Who develops these lands, how they are developed, and to what standards they are held is in our hands. This offers great potential opportunity for us to be leaders in environmental restoration, post-industrial cleanup, low-energy housing, encouraging greener transportation, being extremely selective in our land-use permissions and corporate partners, and protecting/creating green spaces as a required part of the development process.

5.  If elected, what would your first action be toward reducing greenhouse gases in your area of responsibility? 

My first action would be to ask lots of questions, to further educate myself on what the most significant local contributors of greenhouse emissions are, and to consult with existing organizations and experts (such as Transition Town Society) to build connections with those who know more than me on the subject. Then I would push for action from the city, our partners, and our industries to make drastic positive changes to our practices, bylaws, standards, and supported initiatives.  

6.  The climate emergency requires long term thinking and planning.  How do you envision a climate sustainable City/Electoral Area/School District, 50 years from now?

What I HOPE to see is a much more self-sustainable community that has robust food security, supports local farming and markets, encourages a variety of alternative forms of transportation (as fossil fuel should be all but phased out by then), has minimal out-of-town travel and commerce, holds development to a strict environmental standard (and to a minimum), and is as close to net-zero emissions as possible. A vibrant, healthy community that co-exists with the natural environment and relies on each other for livelihood and health.