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This month I’ll be bringing this motion to County of Brant council. I have been working on it for over a year and I’m hoping it doesn’t just pass in the County of Brant but in other muncipalities as well. Currently received correspondence from several other municipal councillors looking at the potential of this motion ahead of Earth Day this year. The basic idea is to use any savings from the uploading of Blue Bin program costs to corporations to fund environmental projects.

Just before Covid there was so much momentum on environmental issues across the country and world. Similarly we saw the same type of momentum on these issues just before 9/11.

Crisis with immediate threat attached makes us forget at times the larger existential crisis we all face around our shared environmental health. I’m really hopeful this motion will pass next week and hopeful that it will have a positive impact here AND that it could have a huge impact in Ontario if more municipal governments get on board.

Imagine a way to fund important, innovative, and community-desired environmental ideas all over the province without raising taxes?

If you are a councillor (anywhere really) and have questions, want to chat about the idea or want any context for the motion just email me at Marc.Laferriere@brant.ca

Re: Environmental Management Reserve Fund

WHEREAS the Province of Ontario has mandated that the County of Brant will become a municipality where producers of waste will become fully responsible for the costs associated with the service commonly known as the Blue Box recycling program by 2026; and

WHEREAS municipalities will no longer have to fund these blue box programs which may provide an approximate savings of $250,000 – $300,000 a year for the County of Brant; and

WHEREAS there are numerous, challenging, serious environmental issues that municipalities across the world face and will continue to face such as climate change, source water protection, lack of access to plentiful waste diversion programs, limited room within landfills, air pollution, access to clean energy; and

WHEREAS The County of Brant has a strong history of supporting environmental initiatives such as declaring a climate emergency, supporting alternative energy infrastructure, tree planting initiatives, strong water and waste-water management services, environmental services and landfill enhancements, urban gardening, infrastructure energy management; and

WHEREAS the County of Brant has many economic drivers that rely on a healthy environment including agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, athletics, hunting and angling; and

WHEREAS improvements to environmental sustainability and protection often require capital and operational funding; and

WHEREAS environmental needs to maintain, protect and enhance the quality of life of our local citizens may change in the future; and

WHEREAS the County of Brant is committed to being proactive and not only reactive in supporting a healthy environment.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT:

1) That an Environmental Management reserve be created;

2) And that the purpose for this Environmental Management reserve be to provide funds for the County to undertake projects or initiatives that benefit the environment, or to provide funds to individuals or groups within the community that benefit the environment;

3) And that any annual savings that result from the transition of the Blue Box recycling program to producer responsibility be placed in the Environmental Management reserve;

4) And that staff be directed, as part of the annual budget process, to consider and bring forward potential County projects or projects within the community that could be funded in whole or in part by the Environmental Management Reserve for Council’s consideration.