Transportation and climate change take precedence over other municipal issues, BC prof says


Despite its potential impact on municipal life, transportation and climate change issues don’t get much attention in the election campaign compared to other topics in this municipal election, according to a political science professor from Colombia -British.

Transportation affects nearly everyone in a community in their daily lives, but creating more transportation options isn’t a campaign priority for many candidates, says Thompson University political science professor Terry Kading. Rivers in Kamloops, British Columbia.

“I feel like it’s really been taken off the agenda quite significantly. I think that’s unfortunate, and I think it’s mainly because of the visibility of the crime and the visibility of homelessness in relation to people’s transportation concerns.”

Transportation and climate change have emerged as prominent topics in debates in some communities, such as Nelson, B.C., but they haven’t become a major issue in many election campaigns in major centers across the province, says Kading.

“Because of the atmospheric rivers events of last fall or the fires around Lytton and elsewhere, I’m a little surprised there hasn’t been a bit more attention to adapting to what’s became much more evident last fall.”

Critical element of transport for a city

Although they don’t get much attention, transportation and climate change are issues that affect nearly every resident of a municipality, according to Mahmudur Fatmi, who lectures on transportation and travel behaviors at campus. UBC’s Okanagan in Kelowna, BC.

“Transport, in general, is an essential element for a city because it is closely linked to the economic growth of a city,” said Fatmi.

“It provides an option and a way to travel, to work, to transport goods between point A and point B. It is also closely linked to people’s quality of life.”

Transportation is an issue local voters can weigh in on in a way that can also impact climate change, he says.

Local elected officials play an important role in shaping their community’s future transportation priorities – from approving new roads and bike paths to expanding public transit and establishing alternative ways to get around. around the community, such as e-bike and e-scooter sharing programs.

The City of Kelowna’s e-scooter and bike-share program provides residents and visitors with more sustainable options for getting around the city. (Tom Popyk / Radio Canada)

Fatmi says transportation is also directly linked to a city’s sustainability goals.

“In Canada, approximately 25% of greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation. So it’s quite an important part of designing, planning and living in a sustainable city,” he said.

Transportation may not be a priority for everyone who votes, but it is a top priority for the people who depend on it to get around.

“Yeah, it’s definitely at the top of my list of things that I care about,” said Melissa Spanjer, who uses public transit in Kelowna to get her son to activities downtown.

It’s definitely something I would want to be at the top of a candidate’s list as well.”


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