Event: All Candidates Meeting
Hosted by: Sustainable Cobourg
Time: Thursday, October 7th at 7:00pm
Location: Cobourg Library Meeting Room
Agenda: Download here

All candidates for Cobourg Council have been invited to present responses to important environmental and sustainability questions issued to them by Sustainable Cobourg. The public is both invited to be in attendance to hear how they would promote sustainability in Cobourg over the next four years.

Candidates have been asked also to provide written responses that will be posted here immediately after the meeting.

Questions for Cobourg Council Candidates attending October 7th All-Candidates Meeting

Climate Change (Question 1)
Climate change is one of the greatest global threats in our time. Current Canadian greenhouse gas emission levels must be reduced by 50% within the next 10 years (by 2020) to address climate change.

If elected to Cobourg Council, what measures will you propose that Cobourg take to both reduce the Town’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to help enable Cobourg residents to do the same?

What GHG reduction target will you set for the Town of Cobourg itself for 2014 (end of Council term) and for 2020?

Town Planning (Question 2)
The recently passed amendments to the Cobourg Official Plan require the development of an Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP) for the Town of Cobourg which addresses water and energy conservation, air quality protection, waste reduction, environmental monitoring and targeting, and taking various environmental initiatives.

If elected to Cobourg Council, what deadline will you propose for completing this plan?

What resources will you propose for completing this plan?

How will you involve the community in the development of this plan?

Cycling (Question 3)
For too long our cities and towns have been designed for and dominated by automobile usage, creating many issues related to pollution, global warming, sedentary lifestyle, and accessibility. Bike culture has re-emerged as a positive solution, but its re-emergence is stymied by the current design of our roads and transportation system.

Numerous cities and towns in Ontario have created or are in the process of creating Master Cycling Plans. The County of Northumberland has embarked on a Master Cycling Plan study.

If elected to Cobourg Council, what will you do to ensure that the planning, construction, and re-construction of Cobourg’s roads and pathways will encourage and be safe and efficient for bicycles?

If elected to Cobourg Council, will you support the development of a Master Cycling Plan for Cobourg?

Can the development of this Master Cycling Plan be included in the Transportation Review the Town will be conducting shortly?

Food (Question 4)
The Cobourg Farmers’ Market is a vital and historic part of our town providing a direct link between our local farmers and the community. The Market feels the need to expand the area available to them, since their space has been reduced by the reconstruction of the boulevard on Second St., and by increased demand. They have requested to have Second St. closed off during market hours to allow for this use. However, the current Cobourg Council has so far not supported the request, saying that it was difficult to arrange.

If elected to Cobourg Council, how will you handle this request?

The Future of Cobourg’s Farmlands (Question 5)
It can take thousands of years to make one centimetre of topsoil needed for farming, so agricultural land should be considered a limited resource. Between 1996 and 2006 Ontario lost more than a half-million acres of prime farmland to sprawling development. Only 5% of Canada’s total land base is classified as prime agricultural land (Class 1 to 3 according to the Canada Land Inventory), and more than half of Class 1 farmland is in Ontario.

The development of the Cobourg East Community Secondary Plan would remove hundreds of acres of productive farmland as well as woodlands and natural areas. If future development were focused in the existing built areas of Cobourg, the future development of the Cobourg East Community Secondary Plan would be unneeded for decades.

If elected to Cobourg Council, what will you do to ensure that our remaining farmlands serving Cobourg and Northumberland County are not destroyed by development?

If elected to Cobourg Council, how will you protect the land in the Cobourg East Community Secondary Plan from further development?

You have a Voice!

Opinions or thoughts anyone? It’s time to weigh in and get the conversation going. Make your thoughts known by commenting below. Thinking of attending the meeting and being heard? Download the agenda and protocol for the upcoming All Candidates Meeting on October 7th, and get ready.