Michelle Bisaro

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

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

Choices I make to leave a smaller footprint- driving a small car, living in a small house (under 1000 square feet), recreating locally hiking on trails within walking distance of home, consuming a mostly vegetarian diet, growing a food garden year round, hanging clothes to dry year round, letting my lawn become dormant in the summer, choosing drought tolerant pollinator plants for the front yard garden, collecting rainwater, recycling all recyclables, backyard composting, and avoiding bottled water.

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

Providing more composting opportunities, and a wider variety of bins sizes. Methane is problematic as it has more than 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide. Methane is released by rotting organics in our landfill. Composting is a vital component to reduce these emissions. The large composting bins are an unmanageable safety hazard for many residents living on hills – of which there are many in Port Alberni. 

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?

Sharing of information is important – both from the environmentally sensitive position, and the economic and physical realities of trying to adhere to such a position. I’m honestly not aware of a polarization, but where there is one, we need to listen to why people see climate change action as unnecessary or burdensome. Only when we hear and understand both sides can we find solutions that benefit everyone.

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 – Having more bus shelters would make public transit more attractive to many people. Some strategic traffic light placements (ie – River Road & Russell, Maebelle & Alberni Highway) could reduce congestion and idling times.

Housing – I will support rapid passing of a new bylaw that will allow for carriage homes on residential lots. This will allow homeowners to help pay their mortgages and open up additional housing opportunities, without requiring additional land clearing. I’d also like to see large scale developers commit to a certain percentage of smaller, lower-income units in new developments. I think Tiny Homes (not pods – but the type built on trailers) are a great addition to a community, if managed properly. I’d like to see some new zoning for these innovative, small scale homes for those who simply don’t need or want an entire house and they have a much smaller ecological footprint than a traditional single family dwelling.

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

Trying to provide smaller compost bin options for residents & working with educators and students to implement an organics collection program at the high school.

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?

A community with well planned and well used composting and recycling programs, a variety of smaller-scale housing, a well used mass transit system, and a widespread network of green spaces.