Yarmouth Mayor Pam mood in her office.
ERIC BOURQUE PHOTO
By Eric Bourque
Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood was among the presenters in Charlottetown at a recent Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference on sustainability, a subject that encompasses more than what perhaps comes immediately to mind, she says.
“It’s so much broader,” the mayor said.
For many people, sustainability may be about the environment and so, not surprisingly, the mayor spent part of her speaking time at the FCM conference talking about Yarmouth’s water system, including the Lake George watershed and what the town is doing to try to protect it.
“I continue to describe sustainability as looking after our present while making sure that everything’s okay for our future,” she said, “so we have to think about our children and our grandchildren.”
Back at work in Yarmouth after her participation in the FCM event, the mayor cited as well the Yarmouth area’s efforts to reduce the amount of garbage it produces.
She noted that this part of the province – Yarmouth and Digby counties (or Region 7, as it’s called on the province’s solid waste management map) – has been Nova Scotia’s leader in waste diversion.
“We’ve already hit the 2015 (waste reduction target) for the province and we’re still looking to do more,” she said.
Environmental issues aside, however, she says there is another area of “green” where sustainability should come into play and that’s money, the recognition that there are limits to financial resources.
“We have to be very careful because it’s not a bottomless pit,” she said. Referring to the Town of Yarmouth, for example, and its approach to the financial side of infrastructure development, she said, “We fund our depreciation … It just makes it much easier, so when the infrastructure needs to be replaced, we’re in a much better (position) for it, so we are very much preparing for our future.”
Aside from being a panelist for the opening plenary session of the FCM event – another was Ken Melamed, former mayor of Whistler, where there have been “huge strides in sustainability” – Mayor Mood later spoke during a session on resilient communities and talked about the All Hands on Deck initiative.
“It was really nice to be able to showcase Yarmouth and what we’re doing,” she said. “I think that’s very important, that the rest of Canada knows we’re here.”
Another public session is planned as a follow-up to last September’s All Hands on Deck meeting, but a date and location for it had yet to be announced as of last week.