Making sense of Wednesday's Regional Council vote

The vote June 29 on the motion to request a medical opinion from Durham Medical Officer of Health and to request details of the proposed contract with York Region for co-ownership of the planned incinerator in Courtice went 15-13.

In other words, a motion to protect the health of residents and to carefully examine a 20-plus year contract passed by a single vote. A tie would have been broken by Chair Anderson and the report might have passed with no further scrutiny.

Buried in the report, in appendix 1 of the agreement, was the clause that would have granted authorization to staff to go-ahead with the construction. It was that close.

The ray of hope here is that this council, unlike the previous term, is willing to its due diligence and understand the facts. Some councillors may be pondering the very real consequences -- health and financial -- of a decision to actually go ahead and build.

How you can help: The obvious and easy gesture is a quick email thanking those who voted in favour of the motion, with a Cc to those who voted against so they know you are aware of how they voted. Please see the roll call below for how your mayor and councillors voted. It is worth noting that Clarington mayor Adrian Foster and regional councillor Mary Novak voted against the motion.

The second is to stay alert for a special meeting to be called some time in July (Chair Anderson may only need to give 48 hours notice), and to attend the meeting to show your support. At that time, emails, letters, phone calls will also help.

Believe it or not, a single vote, even at this late stage, can make an enormous difference. The EA approval, the Certificates of Approval are necessary, but Regional Council has still not given final go-ahead to actually build. To be sure, there would be penalty clauses to pay out, but that would be the price of a lesson learned. The alternative (creeping close to $300 million) would be far worse. The price paid by children and seniors due to breathing polluted air can't be calculated, but is very real.

The motion passed by a slim margin of 15-13. Here is the recorded vote.
YES: 15
Mover, N. Diamond ndiamond@oshawa.ca
Seconder S. Collier shaun.collier@townofajax.com
J. Aker jaker@oshawa.ca, B. Chapman bchapman@oshawa.ca, L. Coe council@whitby.ca, J. Drumm drummj@whitby.ca, A. England aengland@oshawa.ca, J. Henry jhenry@oshawa.ca, C. Jordan colleen.jordan@townofajax.com, D. Mitchell mitchelld@whitby.ca, J. Neal jneal@oshawa.ca, J. O’Connell jenniferoconnell@sympatico.ca, S. Parish steve.parish@townofajax.com, P. Rodrigues prodrigues@cityofpickering.com, W. Woo wwoo@clarington.net

NO (against motion): 13
B. Drew bdrew@scugog.ca, A. Foster mayor@clarington.net, T. DiMarimpietri tdmarimpietri@oshawa.ca, B. McLean bmclean@cityofpickering.com, C. Mercier MayorMercier@scugog.ca, M. Novak mnovak@clarington.net, G.L. O’Connor gloconnor@town.uxbridge.on.ca, P. Perkins mayor@whitby.ca, N. Pidwerbecki npidwerbecki@oshawa.ca, D. Ryan mayor@cityofpickering.com, J. Ballinger johnhballinger@town.uxbridge.on.ca, D. Bath dbath@townshipofbrock.ca, T. Clayton tclayton@townshipofbrock.ca

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