John Bennie

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

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

I have done small but still important things.  I recycle household and food waste, as well as cans and bottles.  I make more efficient and conservative energy choices – shorter showers, cutting out unnecessary car trips – that sort of thing.  May not seem like much, but every little bit helps.

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

Stressing energy conservation is a start.  Turning off lights if unnecessary or when leaving a room.  The same goes for heat or AC.  The district is looking at conversion of the bus fleet to electric or hybrid – let’s look at that across the board.  Most importantly, education and awareness will go a long way towards all stakeholders making better choices.  School gardens will highlight food sustainability as well as conservation of greenhouse gases.

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?

I think that the key here is dialogue by all parties – exchange of information and positions.  Let’s try to really listen and understand each other’s positions.  This is where great ideas and real progress begins and continues.

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.

Transportation:  Electric or hybrid vehicles, promotion of the use of public transit (fewer gas-guzzlers on the road), offering lower/shorter energy use routes or alternatives

Housing:  Solar power, power or electricity generated by water, recycling of household waste, collection of water for irrigation of lawns and gardens

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

Organize a summit or meeting/conference of all SD70 stakeholders to brainstorm ideas/suggestions for responsible choices towards conservation and responsible energy use – again the importance of exchange of differing ideas and positions.  It is certainly not the answer, but it’s a start.  As they say, every journey has a first step!Ask the Manager of Engineering to work on a Master Plan for bike paths 

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?

I think we have to start with a position of admitting that there is a climate change crisis or dilemma.  How can we reduce greenhouse gases, or generally conserve energy?  What can we do individually or as a community/country/society?  Start small, and go from there.  Simplistic and one-dimensional I know, but it all helps!

Thanks for this opportunity – I know I could benefit from further education or awareness of the climate change crisis – and ways to help me make better choices each and every day.