The Monday Committee of the Whole Council meeting was busy and productive. Reported earlier were the VanDyk homes project, the Q3 Budget Variance report and the Second Street parking lot but several other topics were discussed and approved. As usual, they will have to be ratified at the regular Council meeting on December 14. Additional items included Indigenous Land Acknowledgement, a new Advisory Committee, approval of a development on Nickerson Drive, an increase in Planning fees and looking into different kinds of buses. The meeting started with a presentation by Jack Gibbons on the climate crisis and a request to Council for support of his idea. There were also a number of other motions passed – more below. It was a long and busy meeting.
In the order of the Agenda, here are the more significant additional topics:
Indigenous Land Acknowledgement: Starting Jan 1, 2021, all Council related meetings and ceremonies will incorporate the Town of Cobourg’s traditional Indigenous land acknowledgement statement. This includes all Board and Advisory Committee meetings. Also all municipal staff, Councillors, volunteers will be required to attend Training on Indigenous Awareness and Understanding.
An Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee will be established to promote and foster inclusion and to address issues of discrimination based on: Race, National or ethnic origin, Colour, Religion or faith or other forms of conscientiously held beliefs, Sex, Sexuality (including sexual orientation), Language and linguistic origin, Gender identity and gender expression, Age (children, youth, adult, seniors), Mental or physical disability, Family status (including marital status), and for those persons who identify as First Nations with or without status, Métis, and/or Inuit.
This is part of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategy. Committee members are not yet selected but it’s clear that in representing all groups, the committee will be large!
LeBlanc Enterprises Subdivision approval. The development north of Nickerson Drive was approved. Details provided in an earlier post here.
Planning Fees Increase. Based on a recommendation in the KPMG Service Levels review, Council approved increasing all Planning fees by 10% effective Jan 1, 2021.
Transit bus funding. The Province funds Transit replacement vehicles and Council agreed to apply for this funding. It was previously approved to replace the Town’s larger buses but Works Department Director Laurie Wills is looking into the possibility of using hybrid busses or even going to Micro-transit and the Province is willing to pay for those instead if needed. There have recently been a couple of presentations to Council on this subject – notably about what’s being done in Okotoks, Alberta – see photo and links below.
Accessible Parking spots The Accessibility Advisory Committee advised Council that they recommend that “accessible parking spots in the Town of Cobourg remain as paid parking spots to ensure equity for Persons with Disabilities.”
Request to Province to Phase-out all Gas Fired Electricity Generating plants by 2030. At the beginning of the meeting, Jack Gibbons, Chair of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance made a presentation pointing to the growing amounts of Carbon Dioxide emitted by Gas-Fired Electricity Generating plans in Ontario. (Download his presentation here). He asked Council to support his call to the Province to shut them down by 2030. He said that the current contract would be expired by then. His request was supported by the Sustainability and Climate Change Advisory Committee. With no debate, Council passed a motion that agreed.
- VanDyk Homes Project – 8 December 2020
- Q3 Budget Variance Report – 30 November 2020
- Second Street parking Lot – 6 December 2020
- Climate Action Plan Update – 13 October 2020
- An Innovative Transit System – 31 August 2020