We have so much to celebrate and to be proud of!
This past municipal election, voters took a strong stance in favour of the environment. Throughout the South Georgian Bay region, residents elected local governments chalked full of ecologically sound councillors and mayors. We’re hopeful that the incoming councils will take the mandate they received from their constituents seriously and focus on policies promoting responsible and sustainable development in our communities. ECA looks forward to working with each and every councillor, mayor, and municipality to ensure they keep their commitment to the voters.
Over at the Town of The Blue Mountains, Mayor Andrea Mastrosovs, Deputy Mayor Peter Bordignon, and four of its councillors Paula Hope, June Porter, Gail Ardiel, and Alex Maxwell have all signaled their support for conservation and responsible development by signing ECA’s pledge.
Their campaign promises, websites, and literature voiced their commitment to ensuring The Blue Mountains has environmentally sound policies. In a rapidly growing municipality, this is essential to ensure smart planning to avoid losing the green space and natural assets which draw residents and tourists alike to the region. While they face a major challenge with the proposed development on Castle Glen Forest, we’re hopeful that this council will prioritize the long-term health of the environment over short-sighted pro-developer policies.
In Collingwood, their new Mayor Yvonne Hamlin – another signatory of ECA’s pledge – was elected by nearly 40% of the vote. Mayor Hamlin hit the ground running and caused a big splash when she announced she would work to revoke the MZO the previous council had pushed through at the eleventh hour. On November 12, she tweeted, “I was elected to ensure responsible development that puts the needs of our community first. We deserve better.”
Her pro-environment council caucus is bolstered by Councillors Christopher Bates, Deb Doherty, Steve Barry, and Brandon Houston who also signed our pledge – demonstrating the importance that Collingwood voters placed on the environment in the last election. We look forward to working with this team to ensure our communities are built up, not built out into green spaces.
In Grey Highlands where a hot election issue faced by candidates was the recent sale of the Talisman public lands. The controversial sale motivated constituents to head to the polls and choose councillors who the Protecting Talisman Lands Association (PTLA) endorsed. We are happy to report that two of the newly elected councillors, Nadia Dubyk and Joel Loughead, are supporters of ideals held by the ECA and PTLA. With these new voices on council, we anticipate a more sustainable approach to development in the municipality which prioritizes the environment and long-term health of communities.
Over the next four years, we at the Escarpment Corridor Alliance look forward to working with the new councils on our shared policy priorities. Voters sent a strong message to councils throughout the South Georgian Bay region – the environment and responsible municipal planning are top of mind. And politicians would do well to take note. Thank you to all who voted – we’ll be working with the new councils to ensure your voice continues to be heard and that natural spaces in our region will be protected!