My photo
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Elected as a Member of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly for the Constituency of Saanich South on May 12, 2009. New Democratic Opposition Critic for the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands. Raised on Quadra Island and has an undergraduate degree from the University of British Columbia. Extensive track record as a community leader, advocate and environmental activist.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Lobby Misses Target - Saanich News

By Erin Cardone - Saanich News - January 02, 2007

Proposal to ban plastic bags not a CRD decision

Lana Popham did her homework in preparation for a presentation to the Capital Regional District board. Popham is lobbying for an all-out ban on disposable plastic bags from the region.

She collected statistics and signatures, did interviews and gave herself a pep talk.

It all culminated in eight minutes in front of the Solid Waste Advisory Committee in December. The Saanich resident was allowed to state her case only to learn she was presenting to the wrong audience.

“They told me that it was not a CRD issue and it was up to individual municipalities,” Popham said.

Despite the minor setback, her crusade isn’t over. Popham has scheduled a meeting with the municipality of North Saanich in January to make her presentation there.

She’ll move on to the region’s 12 other municipalities, asking each to ban plastic bags.

“I feel really hopeful,” Popham said. “I’ve had so much public support, so that keeps me going.”

In fact, Popham should have started her quest in front of individual municipalities, says Saanich’s municipal solicitor Chris Nation.

“Municipal council would do a consultation with the business community - grocery and retail stores that use plastic bags,” Nation said.

He added consultations with other interest groups, such as environmental groups, should take place. “Then council would ask staff to prepare a bylaw.”

Forming a bylaw, Nation said, wouldn’t have to go through a formal public hearing process.

Rather, councillors would either push it though or shut it down at a council meeting.

Popham has also asked to meet with the municipality of Saanich “as soon as possible” to get talking about the ban.