Sustainability and Advisory Committees

In a planned rework of Advisory committees, the concept of Sustainability was moved from the Planning and Sustainability Advisory Committee and incorporated in every committee. This meant that this committee would drop Sustainability from its title and focus on just planning.  Separately, the Environmental/Active Transportation Advisory Committee would be split into two: a Transportation Advisory Committee and an Environmental and Climate Change Advisory Committee. Brent also suggested that a decision on committees could be postponed until after the Strategic Planning sessions. In a follow up, at the Council meeting on February 4, Gigi Ludorf-Weaver proposed some strategic goals that would help establish a “Culture of Sustainability” in the Town.  But later in the meeting, Council approved the new committee structure with only a minor mention of what Gigi had proposed (item 3 below).

Gigi Ludorf-Weaver
Gigi Ludorf-Weaver

So what did Gigi propose?

Goal: To establish a “Culture of Sustainability” that will support a new position of “Sustainability Officer” for Cobourg and the County of Northumberland.


  1. Create a definition for sustainability – Gigi suggested the definition used by Sustainable Cobourg as a starting point (their web site is here)
  2. Develop a Sustainability Charter
  3. Create a Sustainability Climate Change Advisory Committee
  4. Create a Sustainability Office within the Mayor’s or CAO’s office
  5. Develop a model for all Advisory Committees where there is a designated Sustainability Representative on each one who will report to the Sustainability Officer
  6. Provide workshops (Lunch and Learn) to ensure that Town administrators, its councillors, staff, volunteers, committee members all have the same understanding of what is meant by “Sustainability”.

Gigi also asked that the Town incorporate its Vision for Sustainability in its Vision and Mission Statements.

When the agenda item to approve the Terms of Reference bylaw for the committees (not just advisory committees) came before Council, Councillor Emily Chorley proposed two amendments:

  1. Change the title of the Environmental and Climate Change Advisory Committee to become the Sustainability and Climate Change Advisory Committee. This amendment was approved.  So Sustainability is, after all, the focus of one of the committees.
  2. To get more turnover of committee members, the proposed 8 year term was reduced to 6 years.  This was also approved.

So the new advisory committees will be:

  • Accessibility Advisory Committee;
  • Transportation Advisory Committee (new)
  • Sustainability and Climate Change Advisory Committee. (new)
  • Cobourg Heritage Advisory Committee;
  • Planning and Development Advisory Committee; (now renamed)
  • Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee;
  • Cobourg Downtown Coalition Advisory Committee

Note that the Economic Development Advisory Committee will be disbanded. This is now “final” although Council can always pass a new bylaw if more changes are wanted.


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Wally Keeler
5 years ago

Bjorn Lomborg has a good mind for prioritizing sustainability

5 years ago

There are scientists on both sides of the global warming issue…let them, not Trump or Trudeau come to the proper conclusion. I understand that Canada does not add to the carbon problem so why the progressive carbon tax? Let India and China come clean with world pressure applied.

Bruce Bellaire
Reply to  cornbread
5 years ago

Not sure what you mean by both sides Cornbread. I have never been able to find a climate scientist who is sceptical about human induced climate change. There are websites sponsored by energy companies that try to spread confusion on this issue. If you can point me to a scientific publication that expresses the “other side”, I will examine it with an open mind.

Walter L. Luedtke
5 years ago

Seven years ago, the AMO (Association of Municipalities Ontario) had this to say about ‘sustainability’:
“Sustainability” is a word that can leave you feeling inspired and frustrated at the same time. Somehow, we still seem to be struggling to define and understand this term in a tangible way.
It’s easy enough to get behind sustainability as a concept, but we can all appreciate the difficulty in getting sustainable initiatives off the ground.
It can often be tough just to get sustainability on the agenda, particularly when there is a long list of other “to do’s” that seem more pressing or concrete.
At AMO, we believe that the success of sustainable development is deeply rooted in municipal initiatives. As the order of government that is closest to its citizens, municipalities have the greatest potential to build support for sustainable initiatives in their communities. Fortunately, Ontario municipalities have already started leading the way.”
That was seven years ago.
Today, Cobourg Council is still reluctant to embrace ‘a culture of sustainability”.
On top of the difficulties listed by the AMO, we now have a mindset among some folks here that distrusts ‘experts’, bureaucrats and consultants, especially the scientist experts who talk about ‘man-made global warming’.
Although Queen’s Park adopted a a ‘climate change plan’ last fall, many folks take their cue from President Trump for whom ‘climate change’ is a hoax.

manfred s
Reply to  Walter L. Luedtke
5 years ago

Walter, you seem to have made a direct link between ‘sustainability’ and ‘climate change’ in your comment. While there are commonalities, I think the link is overreaching.
On the subject of ‘sustainability, my opinion is that talking about sustainability is pointless, or fruitless, if we don’t also include an ‘at what level’ qualifier. I believe anything is sustainable, it’s just a matter of resources that we’re willing to apply to the task. That, for me, implies that the discussion has to be more about how badly we want it and to what lengths are we prepared to go to achieve sustainability in any particular case. To say something is unsustainable is really saying we’re not willing to devote the level of resources needed to achieve it. That’s economics, not science. So, while scientists set about writing the prospectus and accompanying bill, the economists respond with a calculation of how, and the ability, to pay that hill. The arguments about climate change don’t belong in that discussion, methinks.

Walter L. Luedtke
Reply to  manfred s
5 years ago

Alas Manfred, climate change and sustainability are the two sides of the same coin.
“Climate change and its impact on the efforts made by the world governments to achieve their sustainable development goals (SDGs) will be among the key topics to be discussed at the World Government Summit (WGS) 2019 in Dubai this month.”
Read more at:

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Walter L. Luedtke
5 years ago

The meeting will witness the highest international participation in terms of official representation of countries, the private sector and civil society organisations since the Paris Agreement 2015.

How much jet fuel and limo fuel will be burned into the atmosphere by this Green Illuminati meeting? Will there be electric limos? Shipped in on the fumes of jet fuel?

Walter L. Luedtke
Reply to  Wally Keeler
5 years ago

And of course you heat your home with buffalo chips?
Just kidding!

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Walter L. Luedtke
5 years ago

Yes, and the righteous Green Illuminati heat their multiple mansions with buffalo chips. Btw, your home Walter, is orders of magnitude larger than mine, so it stands to reason that you are more of an energy hog than I am.