Don’t Fool With Mother Nature ETC

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Following up on my previous post about London’s battle with the Emerald Ash Borer that’s starting to heat up as rumours of a possible Federal election become more frequent… things overheard at today’s ETC meeting…

Councillor Hubert: “…something else to refer to our long list for MPs.”
Councillor Miller: “If it’s not BS then I don’t know what is…I’d like to send a letter [back] that’s disrespectful.”
Controlller Polhill: “Being nice is over…they want us to stop the spread at our expense.”
Councillor Orser: “You can’t stop Mother Nature.”

And then, a glimmer of intelligence… a question from the rookie Councillor that perked my ears up because for a moment I thought that perhaps somebody had actually read my previous post (go ahead, and then come back… it’s an award winner!)
Councillor Orser: “Does anyone in staff know the penalty if we refuse to pay?”

A large crowd waiting for the Taxi Plate issue to arrive, too much noise (inc. cell phones ringing despite a prohibition), a sound system that really sucks… all contributed to more difficulty than usual hearing everything…

Mr. Steblin: “[indicated that he had previously recommended] that affected communities form a strategic alliance…Jay convinced me not to go that [legal?] route…the initial program would have cost us more but Jay and Pat [using a conciliatory approach] convinced them to relax a bit.”

I believe that a motion was made/passed to continue with the conciliatory approach but I didn’t capture it because of the noise. However, I did manage to get this additional gem that wrapped it up…

Councillor Miller: “As long as we don’t build our boat out of ash trees.”

I continue to wonder if these folks aren’t posturing a bit too much, given the selective release of information to date. How forceful were they in trying to make the case that the financial cost of combatting an invasive species of plant, insect or animal ought to be a shared provincial/federal responsibility? This could turn out costing more than $10 million from local property taxes instead of coming from taxes already paid by local residents and currently sitting in a bank account because of continued federal budget surpluses. I absolutely reject any excuse for the fact that we did nothing re circling the wagons (ie organizing Ontario municipalities to join forces) to make that case all the time that the progression of EAB could be clearly seen. What were our elected representatives doing? Working their day jobs? The noise from local officials in recent days about this seems to me to simply be a case of butt covering. And yes, I have had some Councillors admit to me privately that it really is and ought to be recognized as a full-time job. Only I didn’t hear them saying so during the past election campaign, the way that I did.

ka thump.

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