Climate Action in Burlington: Event Highlights

Cary Clark, Manager of Development and Stormwater Engineering, presents to attendees.

Thanks to the 50 or so residents who came out to Burlington Public Library, Central Branch on Nov. 12 to hear five City staff speak about climate change projections and impacts in Burlington as well as what the City is doing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to our new climate.

The audience was very engaged about climate change. Even with 45 minutes dedicated to Q&As, many stayed after the amazing door prizes were handed out to continue the discussion with the speakers.

Speakers continue the conversation with residents after the presentations at the Climate Action in Burlington event on Nov. 12, 2019.

Below are just a few questions asked along with responses:

What can we do to protect ourselves from flooding? What are we doing to deal with increased rainfall? What are we doing with infrastructure?

What is the City doing?

After the Aug. 4, 2014 flood, which saw 191 mm of rain fall in about eight hours in a pocket of Burlington, an additional $20.4 million was approved by City Council for projects such as creek channel improvements and larger creek culverts. For more information on flood reports and studies, please visit burlington.ca/flood.

What can residents do?

Get a Home Flood Protection Assessment to learn about top flood risks and key actions that you can take to reduce your risk. The City of Burlington is currently subsidizing up to $250 towards the cost of the assessment. For more information, please visit homefloodprotect.info.

Did you know that Halton Region has an Enhanced Basement Flooding Prevention Subsidy Program to make it easier and more affordable for you to reduce your risk of flooding? These include:

  • Downspout disconnection – 100 per cent subsidy up to $500
  • Weeping tile disconnection and sump pump installation – 100 per cent subsidy up to $5000
  • Backwater value installation – 50 per cent subsidy up to $675
  • Sewer lateral (pipe) lining and repair subsidy – 50 per cent up to $2000

For more information, please visit halton.ca/water.

Are we planting trees that can survive in our new climate?

The City of Burlington is currently at the northern edge of the Carolinian Forest. In anticipation of a warmer climate, forestry staff are experimenting with planting species that thrive south of us.

As part of the update to the Urban Forest Master Plan update in 2020 (pending budget approval), staff are also working on tree planting guidelines which will consider our future climate with warmer and drier summers.

Could we reduce the risk of large trees falling on hydro wires?

Forestry standards have changed. We now ensure we plant the right tree for the right location so that smaller trees or shrubs are planted in such areas to reduce hazards during storms.

Is the City prepared to support more EVs on the road? Is this part of the Climate Change Plan … build it and they will come?

The City of Burlington currently has 31 Level 2 charging ports, mostly in the downtown area. Staff will look for opportunities to expand charging locations in other city facilities such as community centres and arenas in the future.

A member of the Burlington Sustainable Development Committee staffs the booth at the Climate Action in Burlington event on Nov. 12, 2019.

Thanks to the Burlington Sustainable Development Committee for organizing the event, the Burlington Public Library for hosting it, BurlingtonGreen and Halton Environment Network for setting up displays, Enbridge Gas for providing a home carbon monoxide detector and an Ecobee smart thermostat, and the City of Burlington for providing one free Home Flood Protection Assessment.

BurlingtonGreen booth at the Climate Action in Burlington event on Nov. 12, 2019.

Stay tuned for the next blog post which will speak to the Climate Action Plan that will be presented to Committee of the Whole on Monday, Dec. 2.


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