Meghan is proud to the be recipient of the 2019 Clements Award. This National Award is given out annually to one politician who has contributed in a significant way to the welfare of fur-bearing animals and the environment. In 2018 Meghan spearheaded the City's Beaver Management Plan, in an effort to ensure that the City of Port Moody incorporate best practices and cutting edge science to help protect the keystone species. For this exemplary work, she has been awarded the 2019 Clements Award. These awards are named after George and Bunty Clements, who from the 1960s until their deaths in 2010, were the driving force behind The Fur-Bearers. In honour of them, the Clements Awards was created to acknowledge those individuals and organizations who have contributed to welfare of fur-bearing animals. Other recipients in previous years have included MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, who brought forward a private members' bill to modernize animal protections. Also receiving the award in different categories in 2019 are reporter Larry Pynn and wildlife photographer John Marriott.
The first of it's kind in the province of BC, Meghan spearheaded and formed this committee in 2017. Chaired by Meghan, this Standing Committee of Council is tasked with providing recommendations to the city regarding policies, prospective bylaws, future developments, and initiatives related to the mitigation and management of the affects of climate change. In addition to reviewing and making recommendations on the corporate GHG emissions, the committee will bring forward educational initiatives such as solarizing a new community building, as well as climate change adaptation policies.
In May 2018 Meghan made the motion to direct the Climate Action Committee to undertake the Climate Action Plan (CAP). This plan is a strategy document that outlines a collection of measures and policies that reduce GHG emissions. Using GHG emissions inventory as the foundation, a CAP defines GHG reduction goals based on local priorities for reducing emissions and provides the guiding framework fo achieving those goals. Meghan has researched and provided a recommended framework for this plan. This was presented and endorsed by both the committee and council. Over the next two years the CAP will be developed and will involve the entire community as stakeholders in this important document.
Another first for Port Moody and the Province of British Columbia! In response to the increased recognition that municipalities benefit from a detailed and comprehensive Code to govern municipal councils, in 2018 Meghan brought forward a proposed bylaw and it was unanimously endorsed by Council. Outlining the tenets of good governance, and borrowing from the Province of Alberta's model bylaws, this is the first Code of Conduct Bylaw in the province of BC to be adopted. The bylaw outlines such things as Representing the Municipality, Communicating on Behalf of the Municipality, Respecting the Decision-Making Process, Respectful Interactions, and Improper Use of Influence, among other things.
In response to the unfortunate death of a beaver kit in Port Moody, Meghan brought forward the request for the city to create the Beaver Management Plan (BMP). The BMP is underway and will incorporate best practices and cutting edge science and use innovative techniques for dam management where applicable. This plan will help prevent continual destruction and disruption of fish and beaver generated habitats and reduce overall costs to the City. This plan will provide a range of general environmental management and protection recommendations to address local flooding concerns and to maintain free draining right of ways, while protecting the beaver - Canada's National Symbol. The plan will include beaver dam inventories, and clear strategies for the most effective and sensitive management of beavers within Port Moody, using alternatives to extermination and/or relocation of the beavers wherever possible.
Asserting that it is good public policy to consider the highest and best use for any vacant or underdeveloped publicly-owned property prior to assigning a lower use, Meghan brought forward the highest and best use policy in 2015. This policy establishes that all vacant or underdeveloped publicly-owned property in the City of Port Moody be designated for highest and best use and that, only if this is deemed not possible, a lower use be considered on a case-by-case basis and sets the directives and provides parameters for any discussion regarding use of City-owned lands. The policy establishes that the city will always maximize the value for the taxpayers in the community. The 'values' associated with the property can include the social, financial, environmental, cultural, historical, and/or quality-of-life that the site provides to the city.
PROVEN EXPERIENCE AND LEADERSHIP WORKING FOR YOU
Councillor Meghan Lahti