SC: What does sustainability mean for you, with respect to Cobourg?
GB: For me sustainability in Cobourg means a change in the way we currently behave and a need start to correct some of the problems we have created. We must learn to respect all aspects of our environment and be conscious of this in all our decisions. Planning decisions should be made to minimize the impact on the environment and the need for energy uses as well as support active transportation. We should grow or support the growth of locally produced food. Community food gardens should be encouraged and I have given advocates a few good locations for a community garden. Transportation is another aspect of sustainability which we can easily support by encouraging walking more, cycling and using public transportation. The Bicycle Action Committee has provided us with good direction and ideas through their focus on active transportation. This not only contributes to our physical well being but also our mental well being.
SC: How would you ensure it is part of your mandate over the next four years?
GB: One of the first things the new Council should do is develop their strategic plan for the next 4 years. The first step would be to engage the public and get feedback from the community, organizations and advisory committees on what they see as priorities. With this information and incorporating the various plans we have such as our Official Plan, Active Transportation and even some of our by-laws we would then have enough information to develop a strategy and priorities.
SC: What is the first thing that should be done and what priority among your other responsibilities would you give it?
GB: Sitting on the Social Services Committee at County Council I know we have far too many people living in poverty who need food. I think the first priority should be the development of community food gardens to increase the supply of healthy food for them and their children. When people are not fed it is impossible for them to function at their highest level, making it difficult to get out of the poverty cycle. Their children also become underperformers and are more likely to do poorly in school and drop out early.
SC: Would you be prepared to sign a pledge to support active transportation within Cobourg?
GB: Yes I will sign the pledge.