Idea #6: Fix the Building Code

Idea #6: Fix the Building Code
by: Tom Barrett and Andrew MacLeod

Donna Morton admits that the idea of volunteering to pay more taxes goes against popular wisdom.

But, she says, some of her neighbours in the rural Cowichan Valley are "just chomping at the bit to pay higher taxes" -- if the money helps encourage sustainable building practices and technology.

"I think that increasingly there's a category of citizens that are actually willing to pay more if they feel like it's buying them the freedom to innovate, particularly along green lines," Morton says.

Morton, the co-founder and executive director of the Centre for Integral Economics, has a tax plan that she thinks will allow British Columbians to build more sustainably.

Currently, things like grey water recycling and composting toilets are often prohibited or restricted by local regulations or the B.C. Building Code. That means that thousands of British Columbians in places like the southern Island and the Gulf Islands are being turned into "outlaws" when they try to build sustainably, Morton told the Tyee.

"Everything you want to do that's ecological, you're either penalized or told you can't," she said. "There are constant disincentives."

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