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LETTER: Sidney should follow Saanich’s lead on tree canopy

Saanich council and mayor are very concerned about their canopy cover percentage and the urban forest. Their goals are 30 per cent coverage. Their residential zones have 31 per cent, parks have 57 percent and roads have 28 per cent. They are worried about a tree deficit.

They are creating more tree equity and shade equity so all the neighbourhoods get the benefit of canopy cover and the natural environment and green space which adds to the enjoyment of the community, not to mention that trees absorb pollution and provide us with oxygen.

Sidney did have 14 per cent tree canopy cover a few years ago and I bet it is far less now.

Shame on this council and administration for prioritizing development and developers whose sole goal is to make a profit. Our town has allowed many condos and townhouse developments and many trees were lost. There is a need for more boulevard trees in places where there were some that died, as well as many new ones. Often the developer pays the town for the trees they cut down and does not replace them. Or, they replace the mature trees they cut down with stick trees that will take many years to grow and may not survive as they often are not nurtured, so they die.

I suggested a few times in the past that our town take the initiative to declare a similar plan as Saanich to fight climate change. Nothing has changed, just more development approved.

Let’s see a shift in this path Sidney is taking and follow the example that Saanich has set.

Let’s increase our tree canopy goal beyond 14 per cent to at least 20 per cent or more. This is doable.

Lynda Comber