Transportation forum probes how to ‘get there green’

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According to Transition Salt Spring (TSS), transportation is Salt Spring Island’s single biggest source of direct CO2 emissions.

“How we get around emits 60,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, or about the same amount of carbon storage a forest one and a half times the size of Salt Spring Island stores in a year. That’s a lot of trees!” the not-for-profit group states in press material about an upcoming event. 

Let’s Get There Green! Transportation Solutions for the Gulf Islands is a webinar that runs Thursday, March 31 from 6 to 8 p.m. via Zoom. 

The event will focus on what members of government, local transportation experts and policy makers are going to do to get islanders moving in the right direction to reduce emissions caused by transportation activities.

People are invited to join the evening “to hear about the path and vision to improving our transit system, electrifying transportation and making Salt Spring more walkable and bikeable for our health, our planet and our economy.” 

At the event, islanders will hear from: 

• Rob Fleming, B.C.’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, who will be in conversation with TSS chair Bryan Young about transforming transportation at the provincial and local levels; 

• Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands, who is working to close the loop on the Salish Sea Trail with its missing link on Salt Spring;

• Gayle Baker, chair of the CRD’s Salt Spring Island Transportation Commission, on developing a greener transportation future for Salt Spring Island.

Also participating are Jean Gelwicks and Bob MacKie from Island Pathways; Justine Starke, manager, Southern Gulf Islands (SGI) service delivery for the CRD; Tristan Ford, transit planner for BC Transit; and Paul Brent,  chair of the SGI Economic Sustainability Commission and alternate director for the Southern Gulf Islands Electoral Area, in addition to being an Islands Trust trustee for Saturna Island.

One new initiative to be discussed is the Southern Gulf Island Transportation Integration Plan, which proposes a new transportation function for the CRD to support better mobility in the Southern Gulf Islands Electoral Area of Galiano, Mayne, Saturna, and North and South Pender Islands.

“With a new service, the CRD could provide funding for the community buses, facilitate improvements to active transportation networks and integrate with opportunities for additional inter-island travel between the islands beyond BC Ferries,” explains Transition Salt Spring.

Registration for next Thursday evening’s event is available at www.tinyurl.com/gettheregreen.

The suggested donation is $10, but everyone is welcome to participate regardless of ability to pay. Email TSS at info@transitionsaltspring.com for complimentary registration.

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