Climate Crisis declared by the Town of Oakville

Climate crisis
Climate Crisis declared by the Town of Oakville
Find Oakville's Cheapest Gas
Advertisement

About the Author

Mashaal Effendi

Mashaal Effendi is a postgraduate student at Sheridan College pursuing Public Relations - Corporate Communications.Mashaal has worked as a writer in film, television, theatre, advertising, communications, and even in speechwriting during his time as a Toastmaster.An avid reader, video game enthusiast, and musician ( who presently plays drums for a band called "The Downgrades"), Mashaal enjoys gathering experiences around Oakville, and is ecstatic to be on the team covering events that breathe life into the community.

Latest posts (See all)

This Monday June 24th, the effects of Climate Change were discussed with fervour as a number of parties convened at Town Hall to go over the global climate crisis in detail.

Ideating and approving feasible plans to complement the town’s already well established initiatives, the Council conferred on a bill that sought to press into service many practicable plans. They will help Oakville to fight the worldwide epidemic of Climate Change.

The focal point was on concerted efforts not just for the town, but also individuals and communities can do to advocate for Climate Change. Interesting to note, there were many parties that made an appearance at the Town Hall.

Delegates at the council meeting included:

  • Lisa Kohler, Executive Director of the Halton Environmental Network
  • Andrei Adam – Abbey Park High School Student responsible for starting a petition to declare a Climate Change Emergency back in May.
  • Michelle Mccollum and Hebert Sinnock , Associate Vice President of Capital Development and Facilities Management and Director of Sustainability respectively at Sheridan College.
  • Aki Tanaka, retired engineer who worked in the nuclear power business, climate trained by Al Gore.
  • Mervyn Russell, representing the Council of Canadians Promoting Green New Deals and past Halton Environmental Network board member and Chair of Halton Green Screens.
  • Members of the Town Council including Peter Longo, Ward 4 Town Councillor on Sheridan’s Community Energy Plan.

“We’re talking about climate change and a declaration of emergency of climate change,” said Peter Longo, Ward 4 Town Councillor in an interview before the Town Council Meeting.

“We’ve seen this in Burlington, Halton Hills, and around the world so we wanted to highlight the good work that the town of Oakville has done on the environmental climate change perspective but we’re now bringing it to our community to raise the question about how our residents and businesses can make a concerted effort to make change in order to bring down greenhouse gases, help protect our environment and gear towards sustainability,” continued the councillor.

Climate crisis - Councillor Peter Longo

Peter Longo, Ward 4 Town Councillor.

In a resolution put forth by Councillor Peter Longo, staff were directed to report annually on climate change actions and update the climate change strategy to:

  • Address the operations of the corporation and the public of the municipality.
  • Identify the public’s role in the climate crisis and the actions the community can do to fight climate change.
  • Embed a climate crisis lens into the town’s asset management program.
  • Incorporate climate change crisis policies into Livable Oakville, the town’s official plan.
  • Increase action and ambition for the town’s climate change crisis-related activities.
  • Include performance metrics to track progress and timelines for achieving key deliverables/major milestones, and a strategy to report back publicly on progress of municipal and public efforts.

“I’m well connected to the news and read a lot. I always knew about climate change but I didn’t know about the crisis it was,” said Andrei Adam, a student from Abbey Park High School.

Andrei championed a petition back in May urging Oakville residents to lobby for climate change to be declared an emergency. He was one of the delegations that presented his appeal before the Town Council.

Climate crisis

Andrei Adam, Abbey Park Student spoke before Town Council to pass a bill declaring climate change an emergency.

” I find the need to speak out now about climate change so that whatever outcome come out of this, it will benefit my generation down the line and that’s what inspired me to come out here. Burlington passed a bill declaring climate change and so did many international countries including the UK. Thus I felt it only natural that Oakville being a leader in climate change pass this emergency declaration as well.

 

Andrei Adam speaking before the Town Council.

As previously illustrated in our article published on May. 26, the Town of Oakville has already contributed to being more sustainable in manifest manners including:

  • Converting a number of the town’s fleet to Electric Busses .
  • Ensuring new town buildings are built to the highest LEED level requirements.
  • Rolling out a two-phase LED street light conversion program.
  • Encouraging active transportation.
  • Climate crisis - Andrei Adam

    Andrei Adam speaking before the Town Council.

    Tree planting initiatives with the Halton Environmental Network.

  • Solar panels line many community areas including Glen Abbey Recreational Center next to Abbey Park.
  • Championing and advocating for the use of Electric Town vehicles with the inclusion of the Mayor who rides one.

“Oakville is an important partner for as we move forward on our agendas for sustainability and how we combat climate change,” said Michelle Mccollum, Associate Vice President of Capital Development and Facilities Management speaking on behalf of Sheridan College. “We want to work with our town and with our broader community moving forward and what’s why we’re here. To lend our support to the staff report moving forward.”

Michelle Mccollum - Herbert Sinnock

Michelle Mccollum, Associate Vice President of Capital Development and Facilities Management with co-delegation Herbert Sinnock, Director of Sustainability at Sheridan.

Echoing her sentiments was her co-delegation Herbert Sinnock the director of Sustainability at Sheridan College. “I see climate change as the existential crisis of our time, and I even said that in our delegation. Climate change is such a matter of great importance to our community that it’s vital for us to all step up and take a stake in creating the transformation that we need to take.”

Oakville is presently developing a Community Energy Plan in partnership with Sheridan College and the Oakville Energy Task Force to decrease greenhouse gas emissions in Oakville and facilitate climate action by all members of the community. The Oakville Energy Task Force show that transportation(commercial or personal) can result in up to 48 per cent of emissions are from transportation.

Many parties present took a united stance with alacrity to urge the Town Council to recognize the climate change emergency.

Also attending was Mervyn Russell, past board member for the Halton Environmental Network. and present representative of the Council of Canadians Promoting Green New Deals.

“Well I think what the typical Oakville resident needs to know is that climate change is going to effect them personally. We can either begin to make changes in our lifestyle both individually or as communities or have it made for us by the effects of climate change. Similarly, we can either pay for it now by making investments that need to be made now or have it made for us later by increases that are going to be made in our insurance policies,” stated Mr. Russell

Mevyn Russell, Halton Environmental Network.

A delegation of many titles. Mevyn Russell, past board member for the Halton Environmental Network. Current representative of Council of Canadians Promoting Green New Deals. Past minister of the church.

Speaking from his prior experience as a leader in faith-based activities being a minister involved with the Red Cross, Mervyn went on to talk about his views on the importance of denuclearizing weapons. “Even David Suzuki says what would cause the most environmental conflict possible would be an explosion of nuclear weapons. The Red Cross has even said that the earth would never be able to mount any adequate human response to a nuclear conflict.”

The lateral nature of global warming is also something that must be acknowledged indicated by Hart Jansonn, past President of the Halton Chapter of the Council of Canadians (and still active with the organization).

“The Council has made some reasonable progress on Oakville’s corporate carbon footprint and that’s commendable. That said, it’s only one percent of carbon footprint of Oakville . The Mayor has acknowledged this and the council has a lot of hard work to do to enact programs that help residents meaningfully cut their carbon footprint.”

 Hart Jansonn, past President of Halton Chapter of Council of Canadians.

Hart Jansonn, past President of Halton Chapter of Council of Canadians.

“Oakville is propelling great work with climate action and climate change,” said Lisa Kohler, Director of Halton Environmental Network who has also delegated to Halton Hills and Burlington in their declaration of a state of emergency. “It’s not about one organization and one council to lean in to the climate action. We heard about all the great work happening in Oakville which is substantial in ways that I cannot begin to express, but it’s about our community getting involved, our community leaning in to make the transformative change that we need. I’m very happy that the council feels the same way that all the delegations did and to hear from individuals who have been working on this file for a really long time. To hear the council say we are in this together should really embed our community with hope and opportunity.”

The town of Oakville has declared a climate emergency with efforts intended to educate the community. It’s not about one government or organization, but how the entire town from businesses, individuals, faith-based organizations, community groups and all Oakville residents.

Lisa Kohler, Director of Halton Environmental Network

Lisa Kohler, Director of Halton Environmental Network.

“It’s really about all of us coming together,” iterated Lisa. “Oakville will continue to do good work and hopefully it can now lean in harder to convince everyone to do their part.”

“The entire community — including Council, town staff, businesses and residents — has an essential role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “Council and staff urge everyone to join in, and immediately increase the priority of our fight against a climate crisis through their everyday actions.”

Salient ramifications attributed to the climate change crisis are already witnessed in Oakville, such as:

  • The 2019 record-setting high lake levels.
  • Shoreline erosion and flooding of Oakville’s parks and trails.
  • The ice storm of December 2013.
  • The effects of Emerald Ash Borer and other invasive species on our local forests.

For those looking to get more involved, the town has developed a top ten list of activities residents can do to help reduce Oakville’s emissions, including driving less and walking more, wasting less, reducing single use plastic, buying local, and using energy-efficient appliances to name a few.

You can review the complete list of suggestions at oakville.ca.

As of June 2019, local municipalities that have passed a climate emergency declaration include:

  • Mississauga.
  • Brampton.
  • Burlington.
  • Halton Hills.
  • Hamilton.
  • St. Catharines.

For more information, review the Climate Change Emergency staff report, item 4 on the June 24 Council agenda. To view the full meeting, have a look at the Town of Oakville’s Youtube channel.

 

 

 

Support Oakville News...keep local news so you are informed.
Any amount makes a difference.

Support

Tags:

, , , , , , , , , ,


Readers Comments (0)


You must be logged in to post a comment.