A motion to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by making idling illegal in Nelson has been rejected by city council for now.
Councillor Leslie Payne recognized in her motion to create an anti-idling bylaw transportation is the biggest contributor of pollution in the city and said enacting the motion would help keep residents healthy.
“It has been recognized by all levels of government that reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is a critical priority for maintaining the health and well-being for all beings,” she says. “Also, transportation has had the most impact, in our area, on greenhouse gas emissions.
“Nelson Next has identified the implementation and enforcement of an anti-idling bylaw in the city as a priority tactic. This would also bring health benefits especially near schools, seniors housing and medical facilities.”
The proposed motion would have seen council directing staff to bring forward an anti-idling bylaw to council as soon as possible,understanding the urgency of the shared responsibility in reducing emissions.
Councillor Jesse Woodward expressed his appreciation for the motion, but felt putting this bylaw ahead of the work already being done by the Nelson Next team was a bit premature.
“We have a six-person team working exclusively on implementing the Nelson Next plan and this is part of it,” he says. “I feel like we are shoving this to the front and could have staff scrambling to do something.
“We should let our climate and energy teamwork through the process and this will come.”
Mayor Janice Morrison recognized reducing idling is a priority but she also noted this bylaw would not be at the top of the list and other goals in the climate plan need to be addressed before they enact this bylaw.
“I have had this conversation with a number of climate activists in the community, some of which really want to see this come through,” she says. “They have seen this as a priority in the past, but then realize there are greater priorities.
“These groups have been very much in favor of this, but have now moved aside suggesting there are more important issues.”
The motion for the anti-idling bylaw was defeated 4-3 by council with the mayor weighing in with the deciding vote.
Nelson Next is a climate plan designed to reduce the city’s carbon footprint.
Councillors Rik Logtenberg, Leslie Payne, and Keith Page voted in favor of the bylaw with Kate Tait, Jesse Woodward, and Jesse Pineiro voting against.