- GUFF is very happy that our new Forestry Manager is hired and running his department. But, the department does not have the full complement of staff. Our forest is both growing and ageing at a greater pace, placing more demands on the department. Will you support full funding for the Urban Forest Management Plan and the Arborist Crew in the next budget cycle? Why or why not.
I do not know the amount that is being asked for. I cannot, in good conscious, make a decision without more information on the subject. If I were to receive information, I would perform a cost benefit analysis to see what kind of support would make sense. In general, I do understand that there is a need for more staff in the department and would look at what is required to make this department run smoothly.
- Shade is important for reducing the heat island effect and for reducing the risk of skin cancer. Will you support and advocate for establishing a shade policy which would set goals for shade coverage along streets/sidewalks, in parking lots and in parks? Why or why not.
I believe that we should make a green infrastructure policy, where shade can be addressed, amongst other things. Policies should look at an overarching goal and I believe that shade is only part of the equation that should be tackled.
- There is currently no recognition or protection of trees that are exceptionally large, old or have a significant history in the City. Will you support and advocate designating and protecting Heritage Trees? Why or why not.
I am not currently aware of any tree that would fall under the category of heritage tree. If case is brought to council, I would look at the case and make a decision based on the evidence presented and look at how other councils have approached the classification.
- The City has begun an inventory of trees in our urban forest (species, size, health, etc.), but trees are not given value as “assets” or “green infrastructure.” Will you support and advocate for a comprehensive inventory of trees in the City that assigns a dollar value to the trees (using currently available computer programs that compute the dollar value of ecological services provided by trees)? This value would then be used in the assessment of the cost of proposed city projects. Why or why not.
I do support assigning monetary value to trees, even though they are priceless entities, as long as there is evidence to assign it the monetary value. It would help decision makers to make better choices when policies that affect trees and greenery are made. They should also be considered green infrastructure. Trees are an essential part what makes Guelph great! We need to protect them as best we can.
- City Council passed a tree by-law in 2010 which requires permits for removing large trees on properties over half an acre in size (.2 ha). This tree by-law only covers about 6% of privately owned properties within the City. It does not cover city trees, institutional trees or the trees on small private properties where the majority of our urban forest exists. Will you support and advocate for expanding the existing tree by-law to cover all private properties in Guelph? Why or why not.
I think there should be an expansion to this by-law to all private properties. Removing large trees diminishes the effects that these trees produce: shade, UV protection, removal of CO2, production of oxygen as well as the recreational value trees have.
- Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) infestation is now eating its way through our ash trees. The ash inventory is almost complete and an EAB plan has been adopted by council. Do you support full flexible funding for this initiative so the amount of money needed for injecting, removing and replanting is available as needed in a timely manner? Why or why not.
At this moment, I do not know what the full funding that you are requesting. I cannot, in good conscious, make a decision without more information on the subject. If I were to receive information, I would perform a cost benefit analysis to see what kind of support would make sense. I assume the idea of injections for trees is comparable to that of vaccinations, where there is a percentage threshold in which going past that threshold would see the EAB leave the Ash trees in the area.