Lets Make Canada a Great Cycling Nation!
The BC Cycling Coalition is working with Canada Bikes and other organizations across Canada to encourage the Federal Government to develop National Cycling Strategy, increase investment in cycling & walking and make vehicles safer for people cycling and walking.
Our country can benefit immensely from joining the many countries that have developed a national cycling strategy and seen significant results.
Thanks to MEC for their great support of Canada Bikes, the BC Cycling Coalition and better cycling in Canada!
Photo: Yvonne Bambrick
MP Gord Johns (Courtenay-Alberni) and Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie) introduced a private member's bill to establish a National Cycling Strategy on October 4. The BC Cycling Coalition strongly supports a national strategy where the Federal Government works with the provinces and municipalities to enable all Canadians to safety cycle. A Canadian Cycling Strategy will: Commit the federal government to set clear targets for the expansion of cycling friendly infrastructure; Encourage more Canadians to choose cycling as their mode of transportation; Improve national safety standard measures, such as side guard rails for trucks; Support the cycling industry in Canada; Increase education for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists. “We need to do more to make Canada a cycling nation,” said Johns who has biked to work on Parliament Hill every day since being elected. “It’s time for a national plan to get more Canadians using this low cost, environmentally friendly, and healthy mode of transportation.” From MP Johns Many other OECD countries have already adopted cycling strategies and have seen a significant increase in cycling as a result. Canada lags behind in many cycling indicators, including the number of children who cycle to school which remains at 2%. Whereas in Germany, 15% of children cycle to school, and in the Netherlands 50% of children cycle to school. A National Cycling Strategy will lead to a healthier society, more livable communities, safer cycling options, reduced congestion, and significant savings for our healthcare system. Additionally, Canada's unique landscape is a perfect draw for cycling tourism. Take Action Please email the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport supporting a National Cycling Strategy: email@example.com and cc these others including your local MP: firstname.lastname@example.org, Amarjeet.Sohi@parl.gc.ca, Catherine.McKenna@parl.gc.ca, Jane.Philpott@parl.gc.ca, Carla.Qualtrough@parl.gc.ca, Gord.Johns@parl.gc.ca, Todd.Doherty@parl.gc.ca, Robert.Aubin@parl.gc.ca, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, local_mp_email Let them know what safer cycling would mean for your family and community. Help us build support for a National Cycling Strategy and safer cycling in BC. Please make on-going contribution of $5, $10, $15 or $20 per month or a one-time donation. Sign up for Canada Bikes email list. More Info Towards a Bike-Friendly Canada: A National Cycling Strategy Overview | Canada Bikes An Act to Establish a National Cycling Strategy | MP Gord Johns Bill C-312: An Act to establish a national cycling strategy
Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, recently announced that Transport Canada and the provinces will establish a task force to discuss safety measures to reduce injuries and fatalities involving cyclists, pedestrians and heavy trucks. Sadly, this was prompted by recent deaths of two female cyclists in Ottawa and Montreal. The BC Cycling Coalition strongly supports measures to make vehicles and especially trucks safer for people cycling and will be working with the Government and Canada Bikes to help ensure measures are implemented soon. From Task force to examine new technologies, education and awareness The task force, established through the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators will explore cameras, sensor systems, side guards, as well as educational safety and awareness programs. Garneau states, "I'm pleased to work with my provincial, territorial and municipal colleagues to explore options to reduce collisions and improve safety for everyone on Canada's roadways. Whether it's through technology, equipment, or an educational approach, we need to find out what works best in order to improve safety for Canadians." From Transport Canada's actions to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians on Canada's roadways The task force is not limited in what it can explore, and will examine several potential countermeasures, including cameras, sensor systems, side guards, as well as educational safety and awareness programs focused on identifying risks and safer driver practices. Heavy trucks, due to their size, present a unique safety risk to vulnerable road users. Research shows that driver visibility is a major cause in fatal collisions involving these groups. Transport Canada will look at the potential benefits of modern technologies, such as sensors and cameras, to improve the visibility of vulnerable road users around heavy trucks and improve safety for all road users. As part of the study, the department will test these technologies at its motor vehicle test centre. The desired outcome is to identify the most effective solutions for protecting the safety of these individuals. The results of the study will help inform policy, and could lead to federal and/or provincial regulatory measures. The Mayor of London just announced the banning of unsafe trucks. Hopefully we will see similar strong action in Canada. Photo: CBC News Take Action Please email the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport supporting safety improvements for people walking and cycling: email@example.com and cc others including your local MP: firstname.lastname@example.org, Jane.Philpott@parl.gc.ca, Todd.Doherty@parl.gc.ca, Robert.Aubin@parl.gc.ca, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, local_mp_email
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. The BC Cycling Coalition is working with Canada Bikes and organizations across the country to encourage the Federal Government to implement a National Cycling Strategy. 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. Infrastructure Recommendations 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