The online response via social media and in messages to The Guelph Post have been loudly negative, criticizing those on Council that voted for an amendment to an emergency climate declaration that killed the original motion.
The comments range from polite disappointment to complete rage at how Council voted in favour of Coun. Dan Gibson’s amendment changing the wording to “acknowledging a climate crisis”.
There were, however, others that supported the Council’s move not to declare an emergency.
Councillors voted against moving up the 2050 net zero emission and 100 per cent corporate renewable energy goals up to 2035. They also passed recommendations funding new affordable housing units, among other items on a full Council agenda.
‘A sad moment’
Coun. Leanne Piper, who proposed the original climate emergency declaration motion, responded to the Tuesday morning results, saying that it was a “sad moment in Council history”.
The vote to change the wording of the motion “completely alters the intent of the climate emergency”, the Ward 5 councillor wrote on Twitter, saying she voted against the amended motion — which passed — “because sometimes leadership is a line in the sand about intent and vision.”
Jamie Gibson, a lifelong local resident and University of Guelph student, told The Post that “the contempt displayed by the likes of city council, particularly Mayor Guthrie, towards many of the meeting’s delegates and citizen speakers was stunning.”
“Speakers in support of declaring a climate emergency were repeatedly berated for being unaware of obscure procedures and processes,” Gibson added. While delegate Susan Watson was addressing Council, the mayor mumbled that the “grandstanding here is unbelievable.”
Councillors even rejected a motion to reconsider debate on Guelph’s existing carbon reduction goals. The feeling present at council was one of belittlement, exclusion, and scorn towards active and present constituents. Shame on the Guelph city council.”
‘Choose to lose’
In response to Piper’s tweet, Matt Saunders, a former City Council candidate and engineer, said that he watched “seven councillors choose appeasement over leadership.”
Saunders tweeted in response to the mayor and other councillors, criticizing the actions behind words from Guthrie and O’Rourke.
‘I’ll meet you halfway’
Jeff Overton posted a cartoon in the Guelph Breakfast Club Facebook group — a community that meets Thursday morning.
‘Gave up game one’
Mark Berardine, the president for the local unit of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association, thanked those that voted against the Gibson amendment for “sticking to the scientific facts and worked towards a declaration of a climate emergency.”
“The other members of city council are taking the way of the Storm and gave up game one….maybe even game three. The city will now need to continue to be come back kids if we are to win a more deadlier climate storm on the way.”
This list is being added to.