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 - by Anne Finlay-Stewart, Editor

On December 2, in response to a public deputation, City Council asked staff to prepare a report detailing actions we might take to deal with climate change, including a suggested course of action detailing how we can meet United Nations emissions target of 45 percent reduction by 2030 and net zero by 2050.

At today's City budget meeting, the Council accepted the staff proposal below, recognizing that there is neither time nor expertise among existing current staff to create the climate report. In support of this $105,000 item in the 2020 operating budget, Councillor Richard Thomas asked, "What kind of a message are we sending to our community, if we falter at the very first step."

City Manager, Wayne Ritchie, suggested that any planning should follow the 2020 Strategic Plan process.

The motion accepted today was as follows:

"In order to strive to meet the goals set by Council, staff recognize the need for additional resources and are recommending adding a Climate Change Specialist to our staffing complement.

Tasks allocated to the new role may include but are not limited to:

    • In a team environment, assisting the City in its efforts to identify, measure and appropriately manage risks to respond to changing expectations and legislation around environmental, climate and greenhouse gas regulations.
    • Developing and implementing climate adaptation and/or mitigation programs, practices and polices to meet the objectives set by Council
    • Coordinate, build and manage cross corporate and external relationships to ensure collaboration and commitment to implement the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and Plan.
    • Design corporate approaches and methodologies for the analysis and development of climate policies including the identification of risks, vulnerabilities and mitigation measures for the City
    • Analyse and integrate climate policies and action for other key plans and strategies including the Strategic Plan, Asset Management Plan, Official Plan, Transportation Master Plan, Procurement and Competitive Bidding Policies etc.
    • Implement and lead corporate and community climate programs and projects on an ad hoc basis
    • Be pro-active to support climate education and awareness both internally and in the community at large"

 

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