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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.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Saanich News Update...

Plastic bag ban faces roadblocks
January 11, 2008

As Lana Popham took the next step in her quest to ban disposable plastic bags from the Capital Region, she hit another wall.

At this point, the greatest hindrance to Popham’s mission is confusion over who would be responsible for enacting such a bylaw – the Capital Regional District or individual municipalities.

“I would have liked to have spoken last night,” Popham said, referring to Monday night’s council meeting. “But I thought it quite commendable of Vic (Derman) to bring forward the motion so early in the year.

Coun. Derman added a resolution to Monday’s council meeting to help Popham with her cause, recommending councillors talk to CRD board members about drastically reducing the number of plastic bags in the region.

Popham’s already spoken to the CRD, though. In December, she faced the Solid Waste Advisory Committee, which told her it was up to each municipality to ban plastic bags.

Monday, Saanich council discussed the need for a bylaw against excessive use of the bags, but didn’t take any real action.

“This is a regional issue and actually more of a provincial issue,” Coun. Vicki Sanders said, though she didn’t specifically point to which body could make a bylaw happen.

However, moments before, Derman had said, “This is something at this time the regional authority doesn’t have the power to enact. We should use the CRD to co-ordinate municipal action in this region,” he added.

Coun. Judy Brownoff highlighted her wish to see one such bylaw, stating a survey of 20 grocery stores determined approximately 25 million plastic bags are used every year in the Victoria area.

With Saanich council not getting far with the resolution, Popham is taking her case to North Saanich council in the coming week.

“The last thing you can do is get discouraged,” she said. “Maybe North Saanich will end up being the leader on this one.”