I am compelled to respond to your Commentary of February 13 (Time for Council to act on climate is now but recordings a step too far-The Picton Gazette Feb. 13, 2020) as it is based on the Deputation I presented to local Council last February 6.
It is good to hear we are on the same page regarding the Climate Emergency. Also, that we agree about the poor pace to which our municipality is responding. We both acknowledge the Emergency and the need for action on it. I can make further interference that we agree the status quo is not working.
However, you decidedly feel that my request for all Council Members to have all meetings they hold in their official capacity be recorded as being “a step to far”. That you, as well as others, may feel that way is understandable. But, giving our elected council an excuse for failing to act proportionately to the crisis solves nothing. What will it take for our elected officials to actually act (which we agree on) on the Climate Emergency we face (which we also agree on)?
You mention problems with my proposal in that it’s ‘inconvenient’. Well, our elected leaders ran for the offices they hold to lead us – which they are not doing. They knew what their roles were going in. They knew what the pay rates were going in. You state that our councillors are ‘busy’. Busy doing what? Sustaining the status quo when we have an emergency on our hands is not addressing the emergency itself. Our carbon emissions have to drop by at least 60 per cent by 2030. Nothing will win this war.
We need solutions and we need them fast. If you do not like my proposal, please come up with another one. How about this one: If our councillors cannot handle leadership, they should resign. Let’s replace them with leaders under 30, and then may very well have a Council that has the energy and resolve we need to lead on this emergency. After all our young people certainly have more at stake. They are likely to accept inconvenience and lousy pay.
The bottom line is that we need our leaders to lead. What we absolutely cannot do is sustain the status quo leadership we have and expect to win this war. That is clearly failing. The time we have left is quickly fading away. We have an emergency on our hands. The action we need will be inconvenient and disruptive. They have to be by very definition if we are to solve this. We have to accept that fact. We need elected leaders with the courage to act. Simply put, we are out of time.