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"Ever wonder if City Council is as contentious and chaotic as it is sometimes portrayed? Here you can get a progressive perspective on some of the issues from someone who spent four years in the trenches. Totally unbiased, though! Feel free to comment but keep it respectful, just like they do at council."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A win for the green bin

After all the lobbying and agonizing, the vote on the green bin pilot was overwhelmingly in favour. Despite the fact that the Environment and Transportation Committee (ETC) had voted 4 to 2 to defer it for another year, in the end only three members of council, Controllers Gosnell and Polhill and Councillor VanMeerbergen, supported that position. The rest of us insisted on going ahead with the pilot project in 2010. Although the $100,000 has yet to be found in the 2010 budget, the message was loud and clear: London needs this, the voters want it, and the money must be found.

Going into the meeting, I was pretty confident about the outcome. Not only had we received many messages of support from the public, but the chair of ETC had "had an epiphany" and decided green bins were a good idea after all. Word on the street has it that he received a strong message from some members of his London Fanshawe Federal Liberal Campaign Team. A vote against green bins certainly would not have stood him in good stead in trying to unseat Irene Mathyssen who is well-known for her strong environmentalist stance.

This is very re-assuring. I had been concerned that given the composition of the ETC, environmental issues would be given short shrift in this last year of the current council. But one can never tell when political ambition vies with ideological conviction. There may be more epiphanies to come!

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

Fabulous News! Great to hear we are going forward, we compost everything now with 2 big bins in the backyard, but I hope all people will embrace it. I used to live in Toronto and it is an easy thing to do and why shouldn't we! thanks Gina.

Anonymous said...

It was even better news to hear that a truck worth $250,000 was not only ordered, but was done without council knowledge ! Perhaps if you didn't waste $400,000 on the Grand Theatre for your "self interest group" you might have had the $100,000 to waste on this ! Oh well Gina, enjoy, October is coming !

Gina Barber said...

Ten trucks were ordered by a vote of Board of Control and Council. The order was partially modified by staff to allow more versatility for one of the vehicles because of needs in the downtown area. The cost of the vehicle was $200,000 with the additional $40,000 coming from the gas tax. All of this saved council money and was within the jurisdiction of the staff according to our purchasing policy. Unfortunately, the person who "blew the whistle" couldn't be bothered to understand the issue before running to the media. He has apologized twice to the staff member involved.