Erik W Minty

Independent for Port Coquitlam Council
Transparency in public engagement wherever possible. Responsible management principles that combine fiscal restraint, ethical conduct, ecological wisdom and long-term thinking with compassion.

Major goals include: reducing the jobs deficit; establishing a safe, efficient multi-mode transportation network; paying down our long-term debt; mitigating our long-term flood risk; providing value for dog license holders; and reducing permitting wait times.

Climate Change

Active Transportation

Widening and improved lighting at pedestrian underpasses along the Poco Trail
Explore traffic diversion and street pedestrianization pilots in commercial centers
Safe, connected, well signed cycling network

Increasingly, people are wanting to switch to a variety of "cycling" modes including e-bikes, e-scooters, e-wheels, etc. The recent and upcoming cycling infrastructure projects have made cycling more dangerous in many cases, for example by forcing cyclists into traffic or door zones.

Multi-Use Pathways are only appropriate for casual cycling of <15 km/h, as they create conflict with pedestrians and include many obstacle hazards and low-visibility pinch points. Most cyclists will be traveling in the 15-25+ km/h range, which is better accommodated with minor improvements to existing neighbourhood streets. Some effort was made to provide limited signage but like the cycling routes, it is incomplete, confusing and disconnected.

Energy-Efficient Buildings & Retrofits

Accelerate building code progress towards passive building standards

Passive building design reduces or eliminates the need to use energy to maintain a building at a comfortable temperature year-round. Active heating and cooling systems consume energy and contribute to urban heat-island effect.

There is already a timeline that gets us closer to this standard. By focusing on removing the barriers to adopting the highest standards we can begin to significantly reduce household energy consumption, GHG emissions and urban heat going forward.

Implement a PACE-like program

This likely requires a regionally coordinated approach if the Province is unwilling to move forward on it. I explain this idea in more detail here: https://minty4poco.ca/resilience/we-need-to-pick-up-the-pace/

Incentivize the use of high albedo surfaces in construction and renovation

One example of energy efficiency is high albedo roofs. This simply means roofs that reflect a higher portion of the sun’s energy than, for example, black asphalt shingles. This reduces thermal loading, improving the energy efficiency of the individual building, as well as the urban heat island effect which impacts everyone. A “green roof” may be ideal but isn’t always practical.

Make use of Low-carbon materials in the procurement process

Flooding

Flood risk mitigation

Critical flood risk mitigation activity has been largely ignored and is an increasing concern. We are surrounded by three rivers, one of which is tidal, and live on top of naturally poor drainage. A sharp rise in ocean levels of 1m or more, increasingly likely within the decade, along with heavier seasonal rainfall due to warmer ocean temperatures puts us at severe risk of widespread flooding. We need to urgently prioritize working with senior levels of government to secure the funding necessary to mitigate this risk.

Parking

Expand car-sharing vehicle services

A 2012 Metro Vancouver study estimated that every car-sharing vehicle (e.g., Modo / Evo) in a community replaces 5-11 privately owned vehicles. One way to envision how this is true, is to realize that you can't own half a car. So if your household needs 1 car most of the time but occasionally needs a second one, you will want to have a second vehicle. Many households can take advantage of a co-op car in their neighbourhood to reduce their private vehicle ownership by one. This can provide significant household savings and reduce demand for parking in congested areas.

One way to introduce CSVs into a neighbourhood is to allow developers to reduce the minimum parking requirements by providing CSV spaces. This allows for better space optimization and cost reduction that can be passed on to buyers or renters.

Urban Heat

Remove the development exemption for retention of "significant" trees.

Trees that are considered "significant" have additional protection from removal because they provide a wide range of valuable services.

Simply planting a few extra trees does not replace the value lost when a significant tree is removed. Many are rare or endangered species, provide important nesting or other wildlife habitat, and most critically they also take many decades (or in some cases centuries) to grow back if removed.

A critical exemption from this protection is afforded to developers, who require little or no justification to remove trees when proposing a development property. This is a short-sighted policy that needs to be corrected. If developers know ahead of time that certain trees cannot be removed, they can design and plan around these trees to create much more enjoyable spaces for people to be.

Accelerate building code progress towards passive building standards

Passive building design reduces or eliminates the need to use energy to maintain a building at a comfortable temperature year-round. Active heating and cooling systems consume energy and contribute to urban heat-island effect.

There is already a timeline that gets us closer to this standard. By focusing on removing the barriers to adopting the highest standards we can begin to significantly reduce household energy consumption, GHG emissions and urban heat going forward.

Increase urban forest canopy
Incentivize the use of high albedo surfaces in construction and renovation

One example of energy efficiency is high albedo roofs. This simply means roofs that reflect a higher portion of the sun’s energy than, for example, black asphalt shingles. This reduces thermal loading, improving the energy efficiency of the individual building, as well as the urban heat island effect which impacts everyone. A “green roof” may be ideal but isn’t always practical.

Local Government & Democracy

Public Engagement

Community Open Houses

Lightweight, frequent open-house events throughout the city would improve transparency and help restore public trust. https://minty4poco.ca/transparency/community-open-houses/

Public Spaces & Services

Sidewalks & Bike Paths

Safe, connected, well signed cycling network

Increasingly, people are wanting to switch to a variety of "cycling" modes including e-bikes, e-scooters, e-wheels, etc. The recent and upcoming cycling infrastructure projects have made cycling more dangerous in many cases, for example by forcing cyclists into traffic or door zones.

Multi-Use Pathways are only appropriate for casual cycling of <15 km/h, as they create conflict with pedestrians and include many obstacle hazards and low-visibility pinch points. Most cyclists will be traveling in the 15-25+ km/h range, which is better accommodated with minor improvements to existing neighbourhood streets. Some effort was made to provide limited signage but like the cycling routes, it is incomplete, confusing and disconnected.

Wider, more attractive pedestrian and cyclist crossings of the Coquitlam River

There are two foot bridges over the Coquitlam River, at McAllister and Patricia. There is serious discussion now about clearing out a wide section near Lincoln for a highway through that corridor.

Instead of continuing to increase motor vehicle traffic it is far better to reduce the demand for driving by providing enjoyable pedestrian alternatives. The broad wooden foot bridge at Colony Farms Regional Park is an excellent example of what these foot bridges could look like. Adding a third at Lincoln would be a much more affordable and sustainable option to highway expansion.

Making these bridges wider and more attractive encourages people to use and enjoy this public space year-round, and promotes active transportation which reduces traffic congestion, along with pollution and emissions. It also builds community.

Transit & Getting Around

Active Transportation

Widening and improved lighting at pedestrian underpasses along the Poco Trail
Explore traffic diversion and street pedestrianization pilots in commercial centers
Safe, connected, well signed cycling network

Increasingly, people are wanting to switch to a variety of "cycling" modes including e-bikes, e-scooters, e-wheels, etc. The recent and upcoming cycling infrastructure projects have made cycling more dangerous in many cases, for example by forcing cyclists into traffic or door zones.

Multi-Use Pathways are only appropriate for casual cycling of <15 km/h, as they create conflict with pedestrians and include many obstacle hazards and low-visibility pinch points. Most cyclists will be traveling in the 15-25+ km/h range, which is better accommodated with minor improvements to existing neighbourhood streets. Some effort was made to provide limited signage but like the cycling routes, it is incomplete, confusing and disconnected.

New Transit Projects

Explore a wider variety of transit options

Buses are inexpensive but not very efficient. SkyTrain is very efficient but ridiculously expensive. Are these the only options? No.

Read more here: https://minty4poco.ca/climate-action/not-just-buses/

Expand the West Coast Express

I've spent many years (on and off) riding the WCE. While working as a consultant, this service has allowed me to access opportunities that would otherwise have been unavailable to me while continuing to live in Port Coquitlam.

Because of the original terms negotiated with CP Rail, who owns the tracks, this service is more expensive and limited in service hours than it needs to be. Much of the infrastructure is already in place and there is an opportunity to expand this service dramatically with some creative logistics and carefully targeted infrastructure enhancements (pull-out tracks etc).

It is possible for freight and passenger rail traffic to coexist.

Parking

Expand car-sharing vehicle services

A 2012 Metro Vancouver study estimated that every car-sharing vehicle (e.g., Modo / Evo) in a community replaces 5-11 privately owned vehicles. One way to envision how this is true, is to realize that you can't own half a car. So if your household needs 1 car most of the time but occasionally needs a second one, you will want to have a second vehicle. Many households can take advantage of a co-op car in their neighbourhood to reduce their private vehicle ownership by one. This can provide significant household savings and reduce demand for parking in congested areas.

One way to introduce CSVs into a neighbourhood is to allow developers to reduce the minimum parking requirements by providing CSV spaces. This allows for better space optimization and cost reduction that can be passed on to buyers or renters.

Sidewalks & Bike Paths

Safe, connected, well signed cycling network

Increasingly, people are wanting to switch to a variety of "cycling" modes including e-bikes, e-scooters, e-wheels, etc. The recent and upcoming cycling infrastructure projects have made cycling more dangerous in many cases, for example by forcing cyclists into traffic or door zones.

Multi-Use Pathways are only appropriate for casual cycling of <15 km/h, as they create conflict with pedestrians and include many obstacle hazards and low-visibility pinch points. Most cyclists will be traveling in the 15-25+ km/h range, which is better accommodated with minor improvements to existing neighbourhood streets. Some effort was made to provide limited signage but like the cycling routes, it is incomplete, confusing and disconnected.

Wider, more attractive pedestrian and cyclist crossings of the Coquitlam River

There are two foot bridges over the Coquitlam River, at McAllister and Patricia. There is serious discussion now about clearing out a wide section near Lincoln for a highway through that corridor.

Instead of continuing to increase motor vehicle traffic it is far better to reduce the demand for driving by providing enjoyable pedestrian alternatives. The broad wooden foot bridge at Colony Farms Regional Park is an excellent example of what these foot bridges could look like. Adding a third at Lincoln would be a much more affordable and sustainable option to highway expansion.

Making these bridges wider and more attractive encourages people to use and enjoy this public space year-round, and promotes active transportation which reduces traffic congestion, along with pollution and emissions. It also builds community.

Trip Reduction

Reduce the local jobs deficit

Port Coquitlam has twice as many workers as jobs. This guarantees that more than half of residents for forced to leave the city every day for work, which is unsustainable.

I've written about "Uncommuting" here: https://minty4poco.ca/resilience/uncommuting/

Misc. topics

Biography

submitted by the candidate or their team
Erik never intended to be a politician but instead learned the joy of public service through years of community volunteer service. With a professional background in engineering science and project management consulting, Erik raised his family in Port Coquitlam and sees exciting potential for this city to build on its strong sense of community to maintain its unique character within Metro Vancouver through sustainable growth strategies.

He currently serves on the Board of the West Coast Climate Action Network while working on a tech startup that he helped found to assist behaviour psychologists manage their clinical data. He is also enrolled in the Sustainable Development program at SFU.

Reason for running

submitted by the candidate or their team
I believe our democracy is being eroded because governments have lost the public's trust. To restore that will require the courage to listen with empathy, admit our mistakes and lead with greater transparency and active engagement. That starts right here at the most grassroots level.

Practical tools like roundtables and community open house events can provide low-cost means of rebuilding that trust, but only if consistently backed up with transparent action. The public must be treated as true partners in the conversation rather than obstacles to be overcome after closed-door decisions have already been made.

minty4poco.ca www.minty4poco.ca