Feb 12, 2020 Big WIN for Climate Change in Richmond Hill

Updated: May 18

Councillor David West brought forward a motion "Richmond Hill Climate Change Actions" to the Richmond Hill Council Meeting on Feb 12, 2020. With one additional item added by Deputy Mayor/Regional and Local Councillor Carmine Perrelli, the motion passed unanimously!


What a great day for Richmond Hill!


A big thank you goes to Councillor David West for his hard work on moving Richmond Hill forward on acting on the climate crisis.


Here is the link to the Livestream.


Below are some of the key points from the meeting with times associated with the livestream if case you want to see a particular segment.


Three delegates from the climate community groups came forward to speak to the staff report on climate change actions that was on the agenda.


1:28:40 - Carrie Tai from Neighbours for the Planet

You can read her speech here.


1:33:06 - Liz Couture from Drawdown Richmond Hill

You can read her speech here.


1:37:55 - Kathleen Wong, read letter written by Cherly Lewandowski from Blue Dot Richmond Hill

You can read her speech here.


1:43 - Councillor David West

Put forward a motion with the purpose of reinforcing work done by staff to date and to endorse further actions; show leadership in our community and encourage everyone to work together; to inventory and measure GHG emissions so they can be monitored; help leverage funding; and “most importantly, it is the right thing to do and it is urgent whether we call it an emergency or we don’t, we still need to take action. That is becoming clearer and clearer”


1:51:36 - Motion introduced and reviewed by Councillor West

1:48:48 - Councillor Karen Cilevitz

  • Seconded the motion

  • “No question that there is no greater existential threat facing humanity and our planet today”

  • Every point in motion is necessary


1:51:41 - Deputy Mayor/Regional and Local Councillor Carmine Perrelli

  • Since June 11, 2019 when a climate motion was last brought forward in a council meeting, Councillor Perrelli said he has learned more about climate change by attending a community event, and is more aware that there are things that we can do.

  • Told a story about how his son wanted to buy an electric vehicle but could not because he lives in a condo and there is no place to charge electric vehicles.

  • In that vein, Councillor Perrelli committed to only voting for applications for medium and high density developments if they have infrastructure for one electric charger per parking spot. Asked to have this amended to Councillor West’s motion. It is already addressed in point 5, but Councillor Perrelli wanted it to be added as more specific.


2:01:27 - Motion with amendment from Councillor Perrelli


2:02 - Deputy Mayor/Regional and Local Councillor Joe DiPaola

  • Strong support for motion

  • Should lobby the provincial government to change the building codes to force EV charging infrastructure for medium and high density developments

  • Would like to see Environmental Summit in RH to show leadership in climate change initiatives and lead the provincial and federal governments to step up their efforts

  • “Many residents are concerned about this issue and if we have to allocate some budget to make this a proper functioning plan then very reasonable to do so. We will have support from our residents. As budget Chair I am in favour of spending whatever it takes to put in an energy and emissions plan that is going to be effective for the city.”


2:05:15 - Councillor Greg Beros

  • Was happy to see that we were all talking about climate change.

  • Talked about a recent event he went to where Katherine Haho talked that the most important thing you can do to fight climate change is to talk about it.

  • We need to continue what we are doing, but we need to reach outside of our community. Need to talk about simple things everyone can do.

  • He supported this motion.


2:07:45 - Councillor Godwin Chan

  • Thought it was inspiring to hear council and community talking about time for action, community engagement and need for leadership

  • Talked about funding opportunities for projects for lowering carbon emissions that already exist that RH can tap into

  • Clean Air Partnerships is calling upon the National Building Code

  • Glad that wording is “including” and is not exhaustive and can be built on.

  • In full support of the motion.


2:13:08 - Councillor Tom Muench

  • Felt frustrated as he would like to see actionable, target-able, measurable actions.

  • Wants to see tangible results.

  • Will still support the motion.


2:18:14 - Motion Carried Unanimously!!!!