Abbotsford Mayor first aboard Civic Leaders Car Free Week

Post by Daniel Fontaine in

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Kudos to Mayor Peary (second from left) who is the first municipal official willing to participate in Civic Leaders Car Free Week. He is seen here at a Bike to Work Week event in Abbotsford.

Phil Menger, one of our dedicated readers notified us by posting a comment on this blog that the Mayor of Abbotsford was the first elected official to recognize July 19-26 as Civic Leaders Car Free Week (CLCFW). A story in the Abbotsford News confirms that Mayor George Peary will be going car free and will be blogging about his experience. Joe Millican, a reporter with the Abbotsford News broke the story:

If you think you see Abbotsford Mayor George Peary pedaling the 12 kilometres from his Auguston home to city hall next month, your eyes may not be deceiving you.

Peary is just one of Abbotsford’s local politicians challenged to take part in the Civic Leaders Car Free Week from July 19 to 26, and while he acknowledges it could be difficult to ditch his vehicle for his mayoral duties, he is willing to give it a shot.

The mayor admits it may be tricky to comply with all the rules of the car-free week, but says he will bike to work providing his schedule doesn’t require him to go into Metro Vancouver or Chilliwack.

The Civic Leaders Car Free Week has been declared by the website.

Although the Mayor was enthusiastic about participating in the 1st annual Civic Leaders Car Free Week, not all of his council was as enviro-friendly. Millican writes:

Most city councillors said that while they support the concept of a Car Free Week, putting the idea into practice may be difficult due to their schedules.

Coun. Patricia Ross, who is well-known for her passion for the environment, said she “loves the idea” but admits she is unlikely to be able to give up her vehicle for seven days.

“Our job means we have meetings all over town, and even out of town, so usually it’s a case of the mode of transport that gets us there the quickest,” she said.

A letter will be going out to all elected officials over the coming days asking them to join Abbotford's Mayor in our week-long challenge. It is hoped that at least three public officials will participate in the event and will be provided with free space on the blog to write about their experience. A news release regarding which officials will be participating will be issued just prior to July 16th.

Kudos to Mayor Peary for getting in the spirit and putting his money where his mouth is! Giving up his car for a week is no easy task, but it is the kind of leadership that is needed from our elected officials if they want us all to commit to protecting the environment and support public transit.

If you're an elected official in Metro Vancouver and are interested in joining Mayor Peary in Civic Leaders Car Free Week, simply drop us a line at Mayor Robertson? Mayor Watts? Mayor Jackson? Mayor Brodie? Mayor Corrigan?...we hope to hear from you soon.

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