Owen Sound resident Zoë Thurling asked a question in public question period at the council meeting last night - one many are asking themselves.  

"I have a question for the honourable councillors, if you would please answer individually. My question is, are we in a climate crisis?"  Here are their answers:

Scott Greig: "I can answer that. Personally I might go even further and say that we have a consumption crisis. I think climate is still actually too small, in terms of speaking to the enormity of the challenges which face humanity - not just us in Owen Sound, not in Ontario, or Canada, across the planet — we are consuming non-replaceable resources at a rate we can't sustain. So that's how I would term it."

Richard Thomas: "YES"

Carol Merton: "YES"

Travis Dodd: "Personally I would ask what the definition would be, but in the general mindset of where you're coming from I think, my family and I we do try to reduce our plastic usage and we do try to be mindful of our impact on our footprint. Uh, 'Climate crisis?' - whatever that definition may be - maybe a bit broader than what my thinking would be but I would say that we definitely need to be mindful of our footprint in the world we are leaving for the next generation."

Mayor Ian Boddy: "I would adopt what Councillor Dodd just said in that I don't understand - I don't have a firm understanding. Sometimes we lawyers look at words that are used or overused or over expanded, and 'crisis' is a word that I'm…- I don't know if it's a crisis, but it's certainly something that we all need to be aware of and we need to take steps so I recognize that it's an issue that needs to be dealt with. The 'crisis' word …."

Brian O'Leary: "I too am not educated enough, but I wouldn't go as far as to say that we are at a crisis, but we're heading that way."

Marion Koepke: "We thank you for the question. Again, too i don't know if we are at a crisis. but when you do call it a crisis, it brings the attention to people, and people start to conscientiously look at what they're doing: all the recycles, and single use plastics, etc. and we as a council are becoming more conscientious of the use of those things that are working towards doing something about that."

John Tamming: "I would adopt Councillor Leary's comments. My concern is this: if you call something a crisis, to me it demands immediate, radical, expensive action on the part of the municipality. I don't sense the municipality wants to go there, its governance. And so I'm afraid if you call it a crisis, I think you invite a level of hypocrisy that would be unfortunate. I hope that's responsive."

Brock Hamley: "I would just say that climate change is real and we need to work to find solutions to solve it."

Mayor Ian Boddy: "And with that, I do note that the Operations Committee has asked our staff to come back with a report on plastics they are working on. Certainly, we are seeing the Federal Government take steps and we will see what those are. Whether that changes what we do or not we'll figure it out to see what they do but we're proceeding anyway with researching to see what we want to do locally. Thank you for your question."

Zoë Thurling: "Thank you all for answering, I appreciate it very much. And thank you for your service."





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