This is my take on the Climate Emergency Action Plan approved by City Council yesterday — it is greenwashing on a huge scale, devised to sell in the 2022 election; something that Vision Vancouver would have been proud of.
I absolutely agree with the supporters of this Plan who recognize that climate change is a far greater emergency in the medium term than several virus pandemics combined. But this Plan — applauded by already-wealthy developers all across the City — is not the answer.
Passing this Plan today allows the Greens and Vision 2.0 to crow about it come election time in the fall of 2022. The problem is that the only parts of the Plan that will be in place by that time will be the hugely profitable giveaways to the developers. All the rest will still be aspirational — especially the very expensive costs to the car-using public — with the price hidden away until after the votes have been counted.
Unlike many of my friends and colleagues I happen to be a supporter of congestion pricing (road tolls) such as they have in London and Stockholm. But I am also a supporter of honesty in government. Had the majority of Councillors had the integrity to pass a Motion that said this is why we are having road tolls and this is how much it will cost you, I would be behind them all the way. But they didn’t want to wait for the budgeting exercise, and they couldn’t face the indignation of the car-driving electorate; they were more interested in getting the applause from the peanut gallery without actually doing much, and making sure the real dollars are not revealed until they have four more years in office.
That is my opinion. As we used to say in the 60s “Your mileage may vary.”