Council ponders environmental committee revival
South Glengarry council is considering the resurrection of its defunct environmental advisory committee, which was dissolved eight years ago.
The committee’s primary proponent, Councillor Joyce Gravelle related at a recent council meeting she’d heard feedback from citizens who would be interested in forming such a body. “I think we (council) have talked about it... so how do we make that happen?” asked Coun. Gravelle.
Council supports the suggestion, however, there was some concern that a new committee’s mandate would overlap that of the current landfill advisory committee.
The previous incarnation of the township’s environmental committee was disbanded in 2007, with its mandate being adopted by the landfill group.
General manager of infrastructure services Ewen MacDonald related the mandate included “promoting the awareness and importance of maintaining a clean environment... support the collection of hazardous waste products, promote recycling, reusing and composting, and encourage reducing and reusing consumer products,” and “carrying out the requirements under the certificate of approval for the landfill sites in an effort to conserve” those sites.
Council agreed that the last point of reference should not be included in a new environmental committee’s mandate since that component was already under the care of the landfill committee.
Mayor Ian McLeod said that providing a new environmental committee with a specific man- date was key to avoiding issues that contributed to the dissolution of the former group.
“The environment covers everything from A to Z,” said the mayor. “What happened before is that the committee was going in all different directions. You have to keep the mandate fairly concise, as to what the expectations are.”
Council authorized township CAO Bryan Brown and staff to look into the proposal, with the input of council and residents, and to report back next month.
Mr. Brown reiterated the mayor’s stance regarding clarity. “Generally, a committee is created for a specific purpose, of some kind,” he said. “If you don’t give its members a specific directions, or parameters to follow, it’s pretty hard to criticize them after the fact. They need to know what you want them to be looking at.”