Councillor tackles vehicle idling

Kate Marsh wants to raise awareness about the environmental impacts of the unnecessary idling of vehicles in the region.

Kate Marsh wants to raise awareness about the environmental impacts of the unnecessary idling of vehicles in the region.

Marsh, a North Cowichan councillor, recently made a notice of motion to direct the municipality’s environmental advisory committee to review and consider strategies to deal with the issue.

She said her notice of motion comes on the heels of a presentation to council by Keith Lawrence, a senior environmental analyst from the Cowichan Valley Regional District, and Dr. Paul Hasselback, the medical health officer for central Vancouver Island.

Marsh said one of the issues the two officials talked about was the high rates of respiratory illnesses suffered by people in the region, and one of the factors that contributes to that is idling vehicles.

“I realize, of course, that we are a large municipality and people need their vehicles,” she said.

“But we do have these high rates of respiratory illnesses here so we need to look at this. I know that it would be a difficult bylaw to enforce, if one is enacted, but my intention is to raise awareness of the issue in the community.”

Marsh said the municipality has been leading the way in environmental matters for decades.

She said one progressive move already made to help deal with greenhouse gases was the installation of roundabouts at many intersections in the municipality, which helped to reduce unnecessary idling by drivers at stop signs.