Ward 1 Coun. Dan Gibson on Tuesday maintained that declaring a climate emergency is unnecessary, saying that passing such a motion “only serves to divide” and politicizes environment policy, pointing to strong support for Guelph’s already existent renewable energy goals.
Gibson, along with Mayor Cam Guthrie and Coun. Mark MacKinnon, has insisted that any declaration from the city could only polarize the issue, “erode” a unified approach and could actually hinder the current action being taken and already passed by Council.
It comes ahead of a planned motion by Coun. Leanne Piper that, if passed, would have the city declare an emergency around climate change, a move that was no longer expected to come before Council after the idea was hotly debated earlier this year.
Gibson posted an image of a GuelphToday poll on Twitter that showed a near 50 per cent divide on the question of “should Canada declare a climate emergency?” — an issue being debated in the House of Commons between federal parties.
“Not a scientific poll but I maintain that a Climate Emergency Declaration does not bring people together on the environment file. It only serves to divide,” Gibson wrote, pointing out Council’s unanimous support for the Our Energy Guelph climate plan.
According to The Post’s vote tracker, at least half of Council has not commented on how they will vote on the upcoming motion and the rest are divided nearly equally for and against it.
One response to Gibson’s tweet got praise from the two-term councillor and environmental scientist.
Real estate roker Tyson Hinschberger was argued that Council declaring a climate emergency “changes nothing about the environment” but it does “grant permission to councillors to enact nonsensical policies under that pretence.”
“You’re a quick study ,” Gibson replied.
Ward 2 Couns. James Gordon and Rodrigo Goller are holding a town hall focused on climate change on Saturday ahead of the emergency declaration the following Monday on May 27.