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October 3, 2019, 10:09 am

29 Local Governments Speak as One in Feedback to Province on Plastics Reduction

District of Squamish

SQUAMISH - Local governments across British Columbia have worked together to present a joint letter to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy in response to the Province’s call for input to its Plastics Action Plan. In all, 29 governments have signed the letter aligning their voices and calling for the Province to adopt bold legislation to significantly reduce and regulate plastics in British Columbia.

“We are grateful to the Province for engaging British Columbians on the future of waste reduction,” says City of Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps. “Local governments are on the front lines of dealing with waste and have the best potential to help the Province move to a zero waste economy. I’m confident this coalition of communities represents a strong voice that will resonate with the Province’s aims.”

Signatories include many local governments who have, or who are in the process of, adopting single-use plastics regulations. The letter represents a unifying voice, which brings a strong message to the Province on behalf of municipalities and regional districts all over B.C.

“Local government is the level of government closest to the ground. Every single day, we deliver services that citizens depend on, and we hear from those same citizens about what matters to them”, says Josie Osborne, Mayor, District of Tofino. “By collaborating to provide our collective advice to the Province on the regulation and management of single-use plastics, we are more likely to be heard and less likely to be ignored. It’s an effective strategy to maintain a healthy working relationship between local government and the Province.”

The joint letter highlights five topic areas which include:

  1. the need for a greater focus on reduction and reuse over recycling and disposal;
  2. clarification of local government authority to regulate for environmental reasons through local bylaws;
  3. an appeal for a stepped or phased implementation approach;
  4. improved extended producer responsibilities; and
  5. sufficient consultation with key stakeholders when policy tools are developed and evaluated.
The signatories include:
  • Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District
  • Capital Regional District
  • Cariboo Regional District
  • City of Chilliwack
  • City of Colwood
  • City of Courtenay
  • Village of Cumberland
  • Township of Esquimalt
  • Regional District of Fraser-Fort George
  • Village of Harrison Hot Springs
  • District of Mission
  • Regional District of Nanaimo
  • District of North Vancouver
  • Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen
  • Village of Pemberton
  • Town of Qualicum Beach
  • City of Rossland
  • District of Saanich
  • Town of Sidney
  • District of Sooke
  • District of Squamish
  • Squamish-Lillooet Regional District
  • District of Summerland
  • Sunshine Coast Regional District
  • Village of Tahsis
  • District of Tofino
  • District of Ucluelet
  • City of Victoria
  • Resort Municipality of Whistler

“Individual municipalities want to work with the Province to introduce stronger regulations around single use plastics and at the same time, protect their right to regulate local business practices. The level of collaboration we have seen in the development of this submission has real power, and it is incredibly exciting to see how we can learn from one another and adopt best practices,” says Karen Elliott, Mayor, District of Squamish. “The bigger opportunity here is that this level of local government collaboration can work across so many other topics that our communities are all grappling with, from climate change to affordable housing and beyond.”

Many of the 29 local governments are also sending individual letters to the Province in addition to the joint letter.

The joint letter to the Province can be viewed here: http://www.tofino.ca/plastics.

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