Making a positive difference to our corner of the world has always been my passion and motivation for being on Council in Richmond Hill. On that note, yesterday at Council a number of important motions were passed for which I am particularly proud because they will help to make Richmond Hill more environmentally sustainable.
Council passed a new Climate Change Framework ( https://pub-richmondhill.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=37097 ) that sets a path for Richmond Hill to reduce GHG emissions. The framework sets a mandated improved way of thinking leading up to Council decisions by applying a “Climate Lens” to those decisions. This motion was in no small part initiated by a motion that I put forward in February of this year to direct staff to increase or efforts in reducing GHG emissions. Most importantly it sets the stage for a positive change and will provide a more coordinated effort to reduce GHG in Richmond Hill. On a related note, I look forward to the Community Energy and Emissions Plan coming to Council which will be a further step that we will take soon.
I was also proud that Council passed the Single Use Plastics Reduction Strategy (https://pub-richmondhill.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=37085). This motion was the result of a member motion that I introduced earlier this year to ask staff to research a recommendation to reduce the use of Single Use Plastics in concert with efforts from York Region, the Federal Government and the Province of Ontario. The motion is a positive step in the right direction. I attempted to further strengthen our commitment, but was disappointed that council voted to not accept a further amendment intended to direct staff to continue to actively monitor any future opportunities to further reduce single use plastics. This would have been an important addition to the motion because the legislative landscape for Single Use Plastics is changing with other levels of government adding, or about to add, further regulations to regulate single use plastics. It will be important for Richmond Hill to continue to closely monitor these changes to determine where opportunities for further reduction will lie in the future. Despite Council not accepting this amendment I will be on the lookout, as I expect staff to be as well, to find future opportunities.
There is ongoing work to continues to be a sustainable community in Richmond Hill. I am proud of that progress and look forward to discovering more opportunities for improvement in the future.