At Monday’s Committee of the Whole Council Meeting, four citizens asked Council to be sure to follow up on their declaration of a Climate Emergency. Bruce Bellaire represented the Blue Dot group and asked that sufficient budget funds be allocated to an Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP), a Green Development Standard (GDS) and for one staff person to be hired to manage these over a two year period. Richard Tyssen attempted to put dollar estimates on these objectives and also asked for progress on the Tannery Secondary Plan. Gudron Ludorf – Weaver (Gigi) of Sustainable Cobourg supported these requests and said that “these are not normal circumstances”. At the forum at the end of the meeting when any citizen can ask a question, Warren McCarthy emphasized that a response to an emergency should not be timid – a suitable level of response is required.
Bruce (photo above right) said that “it’s not just a declaration – it needs action”.
All four indicated that they did not believe the amount of $85k per year (for 2 years) currently in the draft budget is enough. They asked that if necessary the budget for 2020 should be higher than the 1.9% increase in the levy targeted.
Their concerns were not directly addressed in the meeting but were referred to the budget discussions which are scheduled for Thursday this week. The responsibility for this work would be in Glenn McGlashon’s planning department and it seems that he has put $85K in the budget for two years towards developing an ICSP. The GDS is not mentioned but Gigi said that this is a separate item and also needs funds.
At the same meeting, Council adopted a definition of Sustainability proposed by the Sustainability and Climate Change Advisory Committee – albeit slightly modified:
Sustainability is environmental, economic, social and cultural actions that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
- Blue Dot is a David Suzuki Foundation Environmental Organization with a Northumberland Chapter (Facebook)
- Sustainable Cobourg is a Cobourg based environmental activist organization
- Report on Council’s declaration of a Climate Emergency – 20 Nov 2019