Island MP calls on government to create 'national cycling strategy'
Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns is calling for a 'national cycling strategy' to combat climate change and support community planning: March 13, 2020 (CTV News)
VICTORIA -- Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns reintroduced his private members bill calling for a 'national cycling strategy' Wednesday.
The New Democratic Party (NDP) member says the strategy would combat climate change and support community planning. Johns originally introduced the bill four years ago but it failed to get passed.
The Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition says a national strategy is needed to get more people on their bikes.
“I think it would be fantastic,” says Corey Burger, policy and infrastructure chair for the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition.
“We’re one of the few OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries that doesn’t really do biking at the national level yet, and there’s a heck of a lot of potential for biking, you know? Even in the cold parts of the country,” says Burger.
“There’s been huge increases in the number of people riding in the protective lanes in places like Winnipeg and Calgary," he says. "So it’s not just the beautiful parts of the country that need this."
Burger adds that a national cycling strategy, like what Johns is proposing, would have the potential to unlock federal funding dedicated to expanding bicycle options across Canada.
While the cycling coalition is looking for increased bike support, Burger says that safety concerns rise as cycling grows in popularity. He goes on to say that the best way to increase safety is through infrastructure and having money designated for cycling would help with those concerns.
With a minority government currently in place in Canada, Burger say that the chances of getting the bill passed is better than it was four years ago.