Coun. James Gordon’s motion to reconsider the City of Guelph’s plan to reach 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050 as part of an effort to move it up to the year 2035 failed at Council on Monday night, resulting in jeers from a full public gallery.
The motion to reconsider — part of a broader initiative by councillors concerned with climate policy — was moved up on the Council agenda to the being the first item voted on by Council.
The motion need a supermajority of nine ballots in favour to pass but only councillors Gordon, Phil Allt, Bob Bell, Rodrigo Goller, Leanne Piper and Mike Salisbury resulting in a six to seven loss.
Before the vote was taken, Gordon gave a fiery speech where he attempted to address the issues brought up by other council members against the motion to move up the timeline, which drew cheers from the gallery.
The Ward 2 councillor said that it was time for the city to take leadership on the issue in a statement that also addressed an upcoming motion on declaring a climate emergency from Coun. Leanne Piper.
When the vote came through, several jeers were heard from the full public gallery filled with those that came to support the altered timeline and the emergency declaration, a motion that Gordon will second later on.
In the half hour that followed, three individuals yelled out their distaste for the result from Council as they left the chamber, triggering calls for decorum by Mayor Cam Guthrie.
Further down on the agenda is a motion for Council to adopt a plan designed by Our Energy Guelph for the city to use 100 per cent renewable energy for the corporation.
The motion will be preceded by 23 delegates and four people correspondents and is expected to pass as the mayor and councillors have largely been supportive of the plan.
The 2050 plan was supported unanimously in May 2018 and Monday’s vote comes after a staff report was made last year and will set the city on track in preparing to the reach the goal, if passed.