Environmental Projects in the City's Budget

An Overview of Environmental Engagement in the Budget Process
From January to February 2020, staff at the London Environmental Network have engaged hundreds of Londoners in the City's Multi-Year budget. We reached out to the environmental community to get feedback through our budget info session on January 13th which had over 80 attendees, by promoting a City survey and by encouraging Londoners to connect to their Councillors directly and speaking at Public Participation Meetings. The Councillors discussed the budget in depth over 6 days and determined what they wanted to fund from the base budget, provincial downloads and new spending (which they call business cases). 

You can read the full recap on the budget process here!

The work that the environmental community did to reach out to Councillors was extraordinary. Both Public Participation Meetings were jam packed (including 2 overflow rooms!) and a large majority of speakers talked about their desire to see climate action in our city. City Councillors spoke about how their constituents have repeatedly asked them for green bins and action on climate change.  Thank you for speaking to your Councillors about prioritizing the environment in this budget cycle! 

New Environmental Spending (a.k.a Business Cases)
The business cases that the London Environmental Network determined were relevant to the environment and requested Council approved are as follows:

 

Business Cases

Description

Cost

 Approved 

# 5 A & B - Climate Emergency Declaration

Includes developing a climate emergency action plan (CEAP) & implementing CEAP immediate actions and projects listed below:

#1 – Energy Reduction
#2 – Transportation Demand Management
#3 – Bike Share Program
#4 – Corporate Energy 
#5 – Green City Strategy Implementation

Average of $1.22 a year per taxpayer (pg. 57)

 Approved 

#1 - 60% Waste Diversion Action Plan

Includes a Green Bin program as well as new recycling programs.

Average of $20.62 a year per taxpayer. (pg 11)

 Deferred 

#3 - B - Back to the River

Includes environmental assessments, erosion control and a waterfront revitalization project.

0$ property tax increase. Funding found in reserves and capital budget. (pg. 29)

 Approved 

#15 - Subsidized Transit Program

Includes subsidies for visually impaired, seniors, low-come and youth between 12-17.  Youth under 12 ride for free

Average of $1.13 a year per taxpayer (pg. 150)

 Approved 

#25 - Winter Maintenance Program - Just Sidewalks & Bus Stops (not roads)

Specifically the increase in sidewalk and bus stop clearings, do not increase spending on road clearing as driving should be the lowest priority for mode of transit and we should be de-incentivizing driving.

Average $2.2 million over 4 years ($550,000 a year) for increasing sidewalk and bus clearing. (pg. 214)

Our friends over at London Cycle Link, the Cycling Advisory Committee, and the rest of the London cycling community advocated strongly for major investments in cycling infrastructure and hiring an Active Transit Manager in this budget cycle. Unfortunately those investments were not made. The cycling advocacy was very impressive and we hope we are close to seeing wins very soon in this area. Stay tuned for a future blog post about how we can save money, invest in cycling infrastructure and change our high-emission road-widening plans.  

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