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Policy Recommendation


Municipalities

Through the delivery of services, infrastructure implementation, and procurement activities, the decisions municipalities make have significant environmental implications. But municipalities have limited financial and human resource capacity with which to make difficult choices. Though a ‘green’ solution can be the best decision both environmentally and economically, up-front costs are typically higher and the payoff period is usually in the medium-to-long term. When needs are immediate, councils often rely on the status quo in the decision-making process. Federal funding is available to finance a wide variety of ‘green’ projects, yet uptake on these funds compared to municipalities in the rest of Canada is very low in Newfoundland and Labrador. More ‘green’ decision-making by our municipalities represents significant opportunity for green economic development, with the greatest impediment being their capacity to make informed decisions and follow through on more complex projects.

  • Action Recommended:
    Newfoundland and Labrador to develop a regional governance model. Regional governance will increase the capacity and resources of local decision makers, increase the efficiency of service delivery, and ensure land use decisions are made with long-term interests in mind.

  • Action Recommended:
    Newfoundland and Labrador to provide adequate resources to municipalities to inform decision making, identify funding opportunities, and make appropriate ‘green’ investments.

  • Action Recommended:
    Newfoundland and Labrador to educate municipalities on the tools they have at their disposal that can yield a significant positive impact on the natural environment (e.g. planning, zoning, permitting, exemptions, procurement, taxation, etc.)



Discussion

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