Saskatoon city council votes to continue developing climate plan

  • - Vote comes after almost six hours of public presentations and debate
  • - Does not authorize the plan but allows the city administration to continue to develop it
Chris Guerette, CEO of the Saskatoon and Region Home Builders' Association, speaks to city council. Nathaniel Dove / Global News

Saskatoon’s city council voted Monday to further develop its low-emissions community plan.

The vote came after a marathon session with 16 presentations from members of the public.

The climate change plan consists of 40 components that would drastically reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050.

If the plan is enacted as is, it would cost $19 billion over nearly 30 years.

But according to city administration, it would also make more than $30 billion.

Those profits would come from things like lower heating costs for buildings with solar panels and lower fuel costs from hybrid vehicles.

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Ahead of the vote, Climate Justice Saskatoon organizer Tracey Mitchell said it was important for council to continue with the plan.

“We need government and industry to act if we’re going to actually protect as much of humanity … other species and the planet,” she said.

Many of the speakers were in favour of the plan, though some took issue with the potential implementation.

Chris Guérette, CEO of Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association, said the plan could create unnecessary costs for homeowners. She said the current national building code, which dictates the standards to which houses are built, already requires energy efficiency.

“The house that is built today is already 50 per cent more efficient than it was in 1995. So to mandate an array of renovations without giving that further thought is a bit concerning,” she said.

The vote sends the plan back to city administration for further development.

WATCH (July 25, 2019): City of Saskatoon lays out bold climate change mitigation strategy

Click to play video: 'City of Saskatoon lays out bold climate change mitigation strategy'
City of Saskatoon lays out bold climate change mitigation strategy

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