The head of the organization representing local builders calls on the District to implement a retrofitting program for the local building stock if it wants to be serious about meeting new climate change goals. (Derek Ford/District of Saanich)

Head of Greater Victoria builders says Saanich’s new climate goals require meaningful action

VRBA’s Casey Edge says Saanich must launch a retrofit program for local building stock.

The head of the organization representing local builders questions whether Saanich will be able to meet new climate change goals.

Casey Edge, executive director of the Victoria Residential Builders Association (VRBA), said if Saanich is serious about meeting the new goals, the municipality must launch a retrofit program for Saanich’s building stock.

“You can’t throw around terms like ‘climate emergency’ without stepping up to address it,” he said. “Otherwise, it’s just politics.”

Saanich council Monday unanimously approved new climate change fighting goals. The new goals commit Saanich to cut community-wide greenhouse gases (GHGs) by 50 per cent below 2007 levels by 2030. The previous goal called for a reduction of 80 per cent below 2007 levels by 2050. The new climate goals also call for zero net emissions before 2050 as a complement to the target of becoming a 100 renewable energy community by 2080.

RELATED: Saanich council considers more ambitious climate change goals

RELATED: Saanich well off mark when it comes to meeting goals of climate plan

Edge said Saanich so far has been unable to implement a reasonably efficient permit process. “[So] addressing climate change is more than they can chew,” he said, in alluding to Saanich’s previous failure to meet reduction scenarios for its own corporate emissions and community-wide-emissions.

Saanich had initially planned to cut its own emissions by 50 per cent from 2007 figures by 2020. Current projections (pending fulfillment of various initiatives) will see Saanich cut corporate emissions by 40 per cent by 2020-21.

The picture is the same when it comes to community-wide GHGs, with the proviso that the municipality has limited direct control, a point acknowledged by councillors, who have subs

A report released last year found community-wide GHGs will have dropped by nine per cent under a business-as-usual scenario in 2050 — the current deadline for cutting community-wide GHGs by 80 per cent and using 100 per cent renewable sources of energy.

Councillors, for their part, have acknowledged their efforts will not meet with success unless the community, business, and senior spheres of government do their part for meaningful actions.

Edge also criticizes that the report outlining the new goals fails to consider the larger context, noting that Canada’s contribution to global GHGs is just 1.6 per cent.

“Saanich council often seems to be operating in a bubble, evidenced by the climate change report,” he said. “But if they want to show they are serious about reducing [GHGs] in thousands of older homes, they can start by funding a retrofit program.”

Coun. Judy Brownoff offered a similar comment about the importance of addressing Saanich’s housing stock as a source of GHGs, along with improvements to transportation.

Looking at specific sources of emissions, buildings account for approximately 30 per cent of Saanich’s GHGs, with transportation accounting for 58 per cent, waste and others being 11 per cent, according to Saanich staff.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Tour de Rock kicks off on Saturday morning

The 22nd annual Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock ride will take two weeks to complete

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

MISSING: Victoria man Cameron Johnston

VicPD are looking for a missing 36-year-old man

Massive plaza, residential and retail project coming to Esquimalt

The Esquimalt Town Centre set to sell its first units in October

Four charges approved in Saanich hit and run that left woman in coma

‘This was a significant crash that caused serious injuries,’ say police

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many of the protesters were children and youth who skipped school to take part in the demonstrations.

B.C. truck drivers to face higher fines for not using winter tire chains

As of Oct. 1, not using chains on the highway when required could net you a $598 ticket

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

Most Read