A passion for the environment is part of what makes Guelph such a unique and wonderful place to live. In saying this however, an environmental conscious without the counterbalance of economic and societal demands/benefits can quickly spiral into misguided ideology, a dysfunctional planning process and a break down in sustainable development. In these scenarios, innovative solutions to development can be impeded and the City building process can break down. To counter this, I contend that when the societal and economic demands/benefits are evaluated as a counterbalance, the appropriate tension between competing factors is established and the necessity for innovative, adaptive solutions is created. To not include these counterbalances risks creating a culture which is negative toward business/industrial growth, job creation, ingenuity and innovation. Does the term “Guelph Factor” come to mind?
I reference the Guelph Factor because of its application toward perspective businesses; and also because of its application to the environmental ethic in Guelph. Case in point, the City owned International Malleable Iron Company (IMICO) site off Beverley St has sat vacant, idle and contaminated for over two decades; and while many are urging the City to intercede in other big picture concerns (i.e. climate change and the Line 9 pipeline proposal), the IMICO property remains in our own backyard and poses a risk to our collective wellbeing. Simply put the residents surrounding the IMICO site deserve better. In spite of ministerial recommendations and court orders to investigate, the City continues to conduct, minimalistic annual monitoring with no firm commitment to cleanup. This form of environmental partisanship is wrong and I credit councillor Furfaro for bringing forward motions to accelerate reclamation/restoration efforts in recent years. Ward 1 as your City Councillor I will push forward on this agenda to get results for the residents living in Guelph’s original Ward.