Help Make Cycling a Big Part of Canada's Climate Plan
The Canadian Government asking for comments regarding Canada's approach to climate change. Until June 24th 2016 comments may be submitted online. Following review, the First Ministers will meet in the fall to finalize their plans.
Norway, a country with a climate similar to ours, is making large investments in cycling as part of their ambitious climate plans. They are spending $1.25 billion on a network of cycling highways and Olso is investing $2.1 billion on a 510km cycling network.
Please encourage Canadian Government to make cycling a big part of our plans.
If you live in one of the following communities, you can speak to you local MP in person at a Climate Change Town Hall:
North Vancouver - Tuesday, July 12, 6:30 PM
Burnaby North-Seymour - Saturday, July 16, 6:00 PM
Steveston-Richmond East - Saturday, June 25, 4:00 PM
Find more Climate Change Town Hall here.
Photo: Yvonne Bambrick
Carbon Tax and Financial Measures
1. The adoption of a High Shift Cycling Scenario in climate plans to ensure the full potential of cycling is realized. The Global High Shift Cycling Scenario (HSC) by the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy and UC Davis, confirms the significant potential of cycling to reduce GHG emissions while increasing the affordability of transportation. For Canada, the report projects a HSC cycling mode share of 12% in 2030 and 16% in 2050. More here.
2. Use of Federal Carbon Tax revenue to fund cycling infrastructure. We support the introduction of a Federal Carbon tax and recommend that a portion of the revenue be used to fund cycling and walking infrastructure. This will enhance the effectiveness of the Carbon Tax by giving Canadians more carbon neutral transportation choices.
3. Increasing access to bicycles and electric bicycles through measures to them more affordable. High quality bicycles and electric bicycles are expensive. These measures could be funded through Carbon Tax revenue.
Eliminate the GST/HST pedal-powered and electric bicycles.
Eliminate duties and tariffs on pedal-powered and electric bicycles.
Provide rebates on electric bicycles. Some Provinces are offering or planning to offer rebates on electric cars. As electric bicycles are even more efficient and can help reduce GHG emissions, rebates should be offered on them as well. Rebates in the range of $500 to $700 would help significantly.
1. Prioritize those transportation projects designed to get people moving by sustainable forms of transportation. Canada’s approach to climate change and transportation equity deserves a sense of urgency. It follows that all new infrastructure projects deemed acceptable to the federal government follow strict environmental rules leading to outcomes that help us meet our international obligations. Similarly, other levels of government do not always have the means to directly recoup the health benefits that cycling offers. Federal infrastructure investment programs are important opportunities to areas of overlapping interest and projects should be approved for federal funding based on their likely impact in areas of federal purvey.
2. Ensure that, if deemed eligible for federal funding, all new/upgraded roads infrastructure projects include family-friendly protected walking and cycling design. As investments in new and upgraded infrastructure have a lifespan of decades, it is critical that a complete streets approach be adopted now to ensure that these generational investments eliminate serious injuries and fatalities among people walking and cycling. We must insist upon highway/roadway design that includes protected bike lanes, protected intersections, traffic calming and design best practices known to dramatically reduce the safety risk to Canadians. Cycling facilities cannot be optional. Canada’s 2015 Road Safety Strategy’s ultimate goal is to continue to reduce fatalities and serious injuries caused by collisions on Canada’s roads. No project approved by the federal government should work counter to this goal.
3. Understand that funding for cycling is integral to any mass transit project. Canadian jurisdictions are just now beginning to realize the need to link cycling infrastructure and transit. The reason for doing so is as simple as providing an exponential increase in effectiveness for any given station or stop. Cycling and transit are mutually dependent and thrive most when approached together. Mass transit represents a major financial investment, thus it is in the federal government’s interest to insist that multi-modal transportation be approached wholistically and that cycling be engrained whenever a mass transit project is proposed.
4. Provide resources for the expertise needed to design high quality cycling facilities everywhere. Smaller communities in particular often lack the resources to implement leading edge improvements. Other countries are far ahead when it comes to developing national standards, training opportunities and leadership on design best practices. The Federal Government has an important role to play in shaping provincial and municipal policy so that infrastructure for cycling is front and centre of the design of investments, rather than just an add-on or ignored entirely.
5. Provide leadership. As soon as possible, we recommend making a public federal commitment to increasing cycling as a form transportation in Canada. Making verbal public commitments and important gestures are one of the simplest and most inexpensive actions that can be taken by a political entity. Doing so would inspire municipal governments, provincial governments, non-profit organizations, government administration and the people of Canada themselves to do their utmost, knowing that we are united in our purpose.
Please submit your ideas by June 24th 2016 here.
Your generous contribution will help us mobilize the support needed to convince the Provincial and Federal Governments to make bold investments in cycling & walking through:
- Outreach to organizations and businesses
- Petitioning to show the government that a lot of people support better cycling
- Meeting with politicians and staff
- Press releases and op-eds