Climate action advocacy group release results of survey of Peterborough election candidates

For Our Grandchildren asked all municipal candidates in city and county to respond to five questions

Peterborough City Hall in 2017. (Photo: Bruce Head / kawarthaNOW)

A local climate action advocacy group has released the results of a survey of all the municipal election candidates in the city and county of Peterborough.

For Our Grandchildren (4RG) invited all candidates in the City of Peterborough and Asphodel-Norwood, Cavan-Monaghan, Douro-Dummer, Havelock-Belmont-Methuen, North Kawartha, Otonabee South Monaghan, Selwyn, and Trent Lakes to answer five questions about their intentions on the issue of the climate crisis:

  1. Could you give one or two examples from your personal or public life of something you have done to mitigate climate change?
  2. How high among the proper concerns of an elected official would you place climate change mitigation?
  3. Could you briefly describe policies which you would like to see enacted, and actions which you would like to see taken, for the purpose of cutting greenhouse gas emissions in your municipality?
  4. What do you consider the one or two biggest challenges which will be faced by the residents of your municipality as a result of global warming and climate change?
  5. If elected, would you join the Climate Caucus, a national group through which elected officials share best practices for addressing the climate emergency? With which other organizations — local, provincial, or national — would you expect to consult and collaborate?
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4RG first sent the survey to candidates on September 4, with two subsequent reminders. As of September 29, all mayoral candidates in the City of Peterborough had answered the survey questions, with more than half of all the other candidates also responding. The responses of candidates to the survey is available on the 4RG website at forourgrandchildren.ca/2022-municipal-election/2022-candidate-survey/.

“From the response to our survey, we saw a wide range of opinion about the importance of taking action and what candidates were interested in trying to accomplish,” 4RG states on its website. “For a minority of candidates who responded to our survey, taking action to reduce GHG emissions was a top or high priority.”

“However, for many, the priority was much lower or was not seen as important at all. Some didn’t think there was anything their municipality could do. We don’t know what opinion was held by those who chose not to respond to our survey.”

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4RG has also produced a “report card” highlighting the voting record of all City of Peterborough councillors in the last session of council on five specific issues. The report card is available on the 4RG website at forourgrandchildren.ca/2022-municipal-election/2022-council-report-card/.

“We are in a climate emergency,” states a media release from 4RG. “Peterborough is responding to this crisis with a patchwork of projects whose gains are useful but insufficient to meet Peterborough’s commitment to a 45 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. We need municipal council leaders who consistently push for climate action and a long-term funded plan to reach our greenhouse gas reduction goals: plans that have already been developed by several Canadian cities.”

Established in 2006, For Our Grandchildren is a Canadian not-for-profit voluntary organization with a mission to engage and mobilize the community to take effective action to combat
climate change, to advocate support from local governments, and to collaborate effectively with like-minded community organizations.