In a unanimous vote last week, Kingston City Council approved a plan to build 29 charging stations for electric cars around the city. The plan will include two 450-volt Level 3 stations, 25 220-volt Level 2 stations and two 120-volt Level 1 charging stations which will be installed in parking lots, arenas and other sites owned by the city and comes with a $796,000 price tag. In addition to that amount, another $82,000 will be spent on Level 1 and 2 stations that will be free to users for the first 2 years, after which a fee will be added to help with the maintenance cost of about $60,000. Level 3 chargers will cost users somewhere between $10-15 per hour from the get-go.
While Kingston is on a mission to become Canada’s Most Sustainable City, one has to wonder if spending such an enormous amount of money on something that effects only a small percentage of Kingstonians is a good way to use tax payer funds. While it is true that about one third of Kingston’s greenhouse gas emissions come from our use of fuel, the number of electric cars in ygk is still fairly low and there are far more pressing matters to address.
For example, this past Friday, Council deferred a plan to make naloxone kits available in city-owned facilities. If you have been following the news in any way over the last year or so, you already know that fentanyl and other opioid overdoses are rampant across Canada, killing people of all ages and walks of life – drug addicts and otherwise. Naloxone is the antidote to these overdoses, providing the temporary reversal of the effects, giving users time to get the help they need. While over 70 people have died of opioid overdoses in Southeastern Ontario, the use of naloxone has saved over 140 people in recent months.
While a number hasn’t been released for the cost of providing these kits, which would have included providing training and education on how to use them, it can’t possibly come close to the nearly 1 million dollars being spent on electric car charging stations. This has to make one wonder what the city’s priorities are. Considering that, this week we want to know:
The naloxone kits are simply one example of the many things that city council should be considering to help make Kingston a better, safer place to live. What do you think? Are Kingston City Council’s priorities out of whack? Do these recent decisions reflect good use of tax payer dollars? Drop off your comments below.
Thanks to Håkan Dahlström for today’s photo.