Green commissioner Dave Demers aims to phase out noisy, carbon-spewing landscaping gear in Vancouver parks

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      Green park commissioner Dave Demers's latest motion on notice begins with a statement that reflects his party's position on environmental issues.

      "The excessive use of fossil fuel threatens our planet and puts the City of Vancouver and its shoreline at great risk," he wrote.

      The motion then states that the maintenance of green spaces in the city "relies heavily on the use of gas-powered equipment".

      Moreover, Demers noted that fossil-fuel-reliant two-stroke engines "produce carcinogenic exhaust and greenhouse gases, exposure to which is a health concern for Park Board workers and the population in general".

      And he wants to do something about that.

      At the Monday (January 28) park board meeting, Demers is hoping that his fellow commissioners support his call to direct staff "to develop a transition plan to replace gas-powered landscape maintenance equipment with emission-free equivalents or quasi-equivalents where possible".

      In addition, he wants the board to vote to direct staff to create a transition plan, which includes financial considerations and ways of quantifying or qualifying nonfinancial benefits.

      These include the reduction in carbon emissions, an end to the disposal of oil and other parts, and the overal satisfaction levels of employees and the public.

      According to Demers's motion, battery-powered landscaping equipment is easier to use, emission-free, and creates less vibration and noise.

      "Technology for battery-powered equipment is continuing to improve rapidly and is expected to soon match the output of conventional equipment," the motion states.

      Demers, a landscaper who was born on a farm outside of Quebec City, ran on a platform of championing "true sustainability".

      He's a trained horticulturalist and cofounder of the nonprofit Vancouver Landscape Collective.

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