To the City Council of Sault Ste. Marie:
We recognize Sault Ste. Marie’s city council for their service to our community, but when it appears all of council commits an ethical lapse in judgement, or shies away from doing what is necessary, it must be pointed out.
In a 2019 poll by Abacus Data, 82 percent of Canadian respondents identified climate change as a serious problem, and four in 10 identified it as an emergency. Yet on Monday, November 9th, while seemingly unanimous in their endorsement of (or at least complicity with) Tenaris expanding its operations, with a taxpayer contribution to boot, city council failed to bring up climate change in their public deliberations. There was no reported contemplation of how this subsidy might affect the city’s carbon footprint, nor of how the products produced by Tenaris, with taxpayer dollars (intended to facilitate fossil fuel expansion) will work against the absolute necessity of getting to a carbon-free economy, in order to minimize imminent suffering and mass extinction, now underway, due to climate change.
As constituents, as taxpayers, as parents and grandparents, as youth – as people who no longer believe we can go about business as usual, without climate change being a central consideration – we demand better, and we demand answers:
Were concerns about climate change ever raised in deliberations of support? If yes, why were they not voiced publicly, ensuring concerned citizens would know their interests are being represented? If no, with the scientific consensus in, and the implications widely known, why not?
Most importantly, how can development projects be supported, in a current climate emergency, without carbon-neutralizing plans attached, at minimum? Should we not be investing in developments that will make our planet better instead? Ask young people. They’ll give you the straight goods.
It is our hope members of council will address these concerns in a timely manner, by the next council meeting, November 30, 2020.
You have not acknowledged the concerns of, perhaps the majority of your constituents. The manner in which you address this misstep is your opportunity to demonstrate leadership. The community awaits your response.
Sault Climate Hub