Tomorrow, December 1, Kingston City Council will almost certainly approve an extremely flawed Transportation Master Plan. At its November 17 meeting, Council heard from climate change expert Dr. Warren Mabee. Dr. Mabee explained why this TMP puts Kingston in flagrant disregard for even the Harper government’s low targets for greenhouse gas reduction.
Kingston has the highest per capita vehicle emissions in Canada. Yes folks, this is true. We put out 3035 kilograms of carbon dioxide PER PERSON in this city, compared say to Montreal where they put out 1219 kg per person, or even St. John’s or Trois-Rivieres, other small centres without subway systems that have a far far lower carbon footprint than Kingston (see Stats Can, Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Private Vehicles in Canada, 1990 to 2007).
Dr. Mabee explained that to meet the Harper targets on Greenhouse Gas reduction, the average Kingston family of four has to drop their total annual car transportation by 2000 to 8000 km per year.
Another speaker at Council that night, Roger Healey, pointed out that the only way to achieve such a reduction is to make active and public transportation the most convenient choice: safe, easy, and inexpensive. The KTMP Council will consider and almost surely approve tomorrow, December 1, does not do this. Instead it sets the stage for sprawl by emphasizing bridges and roads.
Where does Kingston get off thinking it doesn’t have to do its part to reduce greenhouse gases? We want people to know we’re a special place, but couldn’t we find other things to be proud of instead of being the biggest auto emissions producer in the land?
— Laura Murray