David Pickles
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PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT

“We want and we owe it to our children to ensure a healthy environment.  I support protecting environmentally sensitive lands, smart growth and sustainable development.  I sat on the Growth Management Study Steering Committee and on the TRCA's Duffins and Carruthers Creeks Task Forces including the re-introduction of Atlantic Salmon into Duffins Creek.  I also recently attended the 2006 Conference on Sustainable Development and the 2006 Smog Summit to assist in the City's new Sustainable Pickering initiative.”   - David Pickles


Clean Air Council - Green Economy Summit
October 26, 2012
Councillor Pickles at Green Economy Summit
 
Councillor Pickles signing Clean Air Council Action

For further information visit the Green Economy Summit proceedings page.

Park Cleanup
September 16, 2012
Park Cleanup Group Photo
“Thanks for making it another sustainable experience as part of our greening of sacred spaces program done during the time of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.  All the best.  You are making a difference.” - Cecil Ramnauth
TD Tree Day
Transport Canada Pickering Lands - Duffin's Creek
September 15, 2012
Tree Planting 1
Photo Credit - Omar Ernesto Caneo
Tree Planting 2
Photo Credit - Omar Ernesto Caneo
Tree Planting 3
Photo Credit - Omar Ernesto Caneo
Tree Planting 4
Photo Credit - Omar Ernesto Caneo
Teens for the Park Group Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup
September 2012
Cleanup 1    Cleanup 2
Do your part to keep Pickering shorelines clean
September 13, 2012
(durhamregion.com)

Pickering's waterfront is the envy of many communities, and you can pitch in next week to help keep it looking great.

It's the 19th year for the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, a national event which encourages Canadians to help tidy up their local shorelines.

The City of Pickering is joining forces with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to host a cleanup along the shores of Lake Ontario at Frenchman's Bay.  On Sept. 15, from 10 a.m. to noon, residents are invited to help clean litter at Rotary Frenchman's Bay West Park.

The City is encouraging residents, businesses and community groups to get involved and provide supplies.

From the Rouge River to Duffins Creek, Pickering's shoreline attracts thousands of residents and visitors every year, with gems such as the Petticoat Creek Conservation Area, Alex Robertson Park and, of course, Frenchman's Bay.  It's a source of pride for the community and one we all have an interest in preserving.

If you think your contribution won't make much of a difference, think again, as the 2011 national shoreline cleanup stats are astounding: tens of thousands of Canadians cleaned up 3,144 kilometres of shoreline from Victoria to St. John's, collecting 143,737 kilograms of trash, according to shorelinecleanup.ca.

It's said that many hands make the work light and that certainly applies to this initiative.

If you're wondering, and we were, the top five litter items were cigarette butts (351,238), food wrappers (110,018), plastic bags (71,200), caps and lids (65,220) and plastic drink bottles (30,308).

As shoreline.ca states, beyond the aesthetics, some trash, such as sharp glass and plastic, can be dangerous.  Others, like cigarette butts, leach chemicals into our waterways which can wind up in our drinking water.  Six-pack plastic rings are hazards for birds.

Many local groups have already staked out a spot to clean up.  But most locations are in need of participants and co-ordinators to make the day a success.  Perhaps get the kids involved and make it a family outing.  And remember, we're not just taking about the Lake Ontario shoreline, but also the city's creeks.

Most of all, stash your trash when you're near water, in the woods or anywhere for that matter.  Smokers, it's easy to take the butt home with you, so why don't you?

Visit shorelinecleanup.ca and see where you can go to help keep Pickering beautiful.

Pickering trees could benefit from emerald ash borer intervention
Moya Dillon
September 12, 2012
(durhamregion.com)
emerald ash borer intervention
Pickering trees could benefit from emerald ash borer intervention. AJAX -- GreenLawn's Phil Darnell treats Ajax-owned ash trees with TreeAzin to protect them from the threat of Emerald Ash Borer. July 11, 2012. Submitted Photo

PICKERING -- City staff are eyeing ways to maintain Pickering's population of ash trees in the face of an emerald ash borer infestation.

At an executive committee meeting on Sept. 10, councillors discussed a proposal to institute a mitigation program that would see ash trees greater than 20 centimetres in diameter treated biannually to protect them from the invasive emerald ash borer beetle, which has been devastating ash tree populations across the province.

“This is a significant item, and the costs are tremendous either way,” said Councillor Peter Rodrigues, noting that while treatment can cost about $300 per tree, the cost to remove dead trees would be up to $700 per tree.

Funding for the program, estimated at $300,000 per year, will be considered as part of the 2013 budget.  Staff noted that funding to manage the impacts of emerald ash borer could be ongoing for 15 years or more.

“We'd like to proceed on a path that's proactive instead of reactive and try to stop it in its tracks,” said Everett Buntsma, director of community services for the City of Pickering, of the emerald ash mitigation.

“We chose the 20 centimetre diameter trees as a place to start because those were deemed to be mature trees worth saving; the younger ones can be more easily replaced with trees of the same size.  Unfortunately there is no guarantees with this, it's like with any disease or infestation, there's no guarantee that you will be able to stop it.”

Mr. Buntsma noted that staff would be able to revisit the mitigation program at any time if better, or cheaper, treatments are found in the future.

Coun. David Pickles praised the idea, noting ash trees line many of the city's residential streets.

“There is a great value in our boulevard trees, and without treatment all ash trees will perish over the next several years, some streets would be devastated,” he said.

“I believe the City needs to try to save these mature trees.  We also need to try to inform the public about how to spot ash trees in trouble and options for treating trees on private property.”

Councillors voted to approve the staff recommendation, which would see the program included for consideration in the 2013 budget.  A final vote on the issue will be held at the upcoming council meeting on Sept. 17.

ALERT - Emerald Ash Borer
September 2012

Help protect our urban and natural forests - DON'T MOVE WOOD!

The Emerald Ash Borer is a highly destructive insect native to Asia that kills ash trees, threatening our urban and natural forested areas.

Below are photos of some of the signs of Emerald Ash Borer infestation.  Please look over the brouchures (brouchure #1 and brouchure #2) published by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for more information.

Long Shoots
Long Shoots
Thinning Crown
Thinning Crown
D-Shaped Emergence HoleD-Shaped Emergence Hole


Earth Day - Peak Trail Open Space - Adopted Park Clean Up
April 22, 2012
Peak Trail Park Clean Up
 

Peak Trail Park Clean Up
 

Peak Trail Park Clean Up
Councillors David Pickles & Doug Dickerson assist volunteers with Devi Mandir to clean up Peak Trail Open Space during Earth Day 2012.  With close to 50 people in attendance, including a lot of kids, the efforts managed to fill up the garbage bin by the car park.  The launch was a very special occasion for all, including the Ribbon cutting ceremony that got everything underway.

Rouge National Park welcomed by Pickering councillors
Moya Dillon
April 16, 2012
(durhamregion.com)

PICKERING -- As planning for a new Rouge National Park begins, the City is solidifying its commitment to the project.

At an executive committee meeting on April 10, councillors voted to endorse a statement of intent from Parks Canada that confirms the commitment of all parties involved.  The creation of a national park was announced during the June 2011 throne speech, which set the direction for the government to work with stakeholders and partners towards the establishment of a national urban park in the Rouge Valley.

A staff report noted that the creation of the park will require the transfer of lands from various governments and public agencies within and adjacent to the Rouge Valley, including Pickering.  Once transferred, those lands will no longer be subject to taxes or payments in lieu of taxes.

“I am in favour of this, but in terms of losing taxes or payments in lieu, do we know how much that will be?” asked Councillor Peter Rodrigues, who was concerned about the financial implications of possible land transfers.

Although staff did not have a specific amount due to the early nature of park discussions, Coun. Jennifer O'Connell was quick to highlight the benefits a new national park would offer.

“I think we need to keep in mind that we actually pay to maintain Rouge Park both here and at Durham Region through the operating budget of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority,” she explained, noting that budget increases would have been likely in the future to continue upkeep of the park.

“The small amounts of land in Rouge Park are so environmentally significant that nothing could be built on them in a way where we would be receiving tax money.  I think the City should be looking at this as a positive, we should look at this in the sense that we now do not need to buy into or do any maintenance in a park system that was very difficult considering all the jurisdictions involved.”

Planning discussions to identify the boundaries of the park are expected to begin this year under the direction of Parks Canada.  No budget numbers for the park have been announced as yet.

Bring Back the Salmon Earth Day Event
April 11, 2012

Read the Bring Back the Salmon Flyer for more information

Councillor Pickles with students
 

7th Annual Sustainable Pickering Day
March 31, 2012

Hundreds turn out for the 7th Annual Sustainable Pickering Day on March 31, 2012.  The focus for the event was to celebrate local food and urban agriculture.

Councillor Pickles with Darrell Snoddon
Councillor Pickles with Darrell Snoddon, Durham Farm Connection
Councillor Pickles with Kristen O'Connell
Councillor Pickles with Kristen O'Connell, City of Pickering staff
Councillor Pickles with Kristen O'Connell
Councillor Pickles with Kristen O'Connell, City of Pickering staff

Celebrate Sustainable Pickering Day
March 28, 2012
(durhamregion.com)

PICKERING -- Celebrate local food and urban agricultural with the seventh annual Sustainable Pickering Day.

This year's event will feature an indoor farmers' market, culinary and gardening demonstrations, live music, family activities and more.

“With significant energy resources going into the handling, transporting and storing of food, it's very important that people learn that they can grow many of their own fruits and vegetables, and that there are great farmers' markets available in the area too,” said Pickering Councillor Doug Dickerson, chairman of the Sustainable Pickering advisory committee.

Sustainable Pickering Day will be held Saturday, March 31 from 9:30 a.m.  to 6 p.m.  at the Pickering Town Centre.

Sustainable Pickering is also encouraging residents to celebrate Earth Hour by shutting off lights for one hour from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.

For more information visit www.sustainablepickering.com.

Pickering Highlighted in Fin Free 5 Minute Film
January 30th, 2012

Pickering was highlighted in fin free five minute documentary produced by Roop Gill & Maja Zonjic.  Click on the link below to view the celebration of the Fin Free campaign successes in six Ontario cities including Pickering.  At the end of the filrm note the supporting Municipalities and Councillors

View the film

Pickering Council Approves Shark Fin Ban
January 2012
Fin free supports
Councillor Pickles (holding fin free T-shirt), Deputy Mayor Dickerson, Keith Falconer (PESCA) and fin free supporters

On November 14th I presented a motion to Council which was seconded by Deputy Mayor Dickerson to ban shark fin products in the City of Pickering.

Pickering Council approved a shark fin ban By-law.  The support from individuals in Pickering and around the world was overwhelming.  Other municipalities in the GTA have done likewise.  Pickering is a small part of an important effort to stop shark finning and the worldwide decline of sharks that threatens their very existence.

Our Sustainability Journey
January 2012
Artists rendering of 401 Pedestrian Bridge
Artist rendering of completed 401 Pedestrian Bridge

Pickering is proud to be one of the top Sustainable Communities in Canada.  Through innovative ideas and dedication we are constantly measuring our performance with respect to corporate and community energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

We look forward to continued expansion of the Sustainable Pickering Community Engagement Programs as we develop a framework for “Living and Working in a Sustainable City”.

Pickering seeks to turn Frenchman's Bay into tourist destination
Moya Dillon
December 13, 2011
(durhamregion.com)

PICKERING -- Plans to transform Pickering's Frenchman's Bay into a tourist destination has attracted attention at Queen's Park.

Proposals for improvements to the Frenchman's Bay Harbour entrance have been in the works since 2005, when the area was first identified as a priority for the city.  Improvements would include constructing a new breakwater and implementing a dredging program to reduce navigational difficulties caused by heavy siltation.  The project would also develop the area as a tourist destination by improving public amenities, waterfront access and trails.

“It's a long-standing desire of the City to complete this project,” said Pickering Mayor Dave Ryan.

“It's essentially shovel-ready and there's been a lot of work already.  A breakwater would make this a destination, it would be fully accessible for people who want to go out and enjoy it as a viewpoint or for fishing.  This project would increase accessibility of the waterfront and its desirability as a destination.”

A suggestion that the Ministry of Infrastructure look at financially supporting the long-gestating project was brought up by Pickering-Scarborough East MPP Tracy MacCharles in the legislature on Dec. 8.

While the motion does not equal a promise for funding, it invites the ministry to review the project.  Mayor Ryan said it is welcome because it will help to raise awareness of the plan for the bay.

“We're well aware this does not translate directly to funding but we think it's a good first step,” he explained.  “It's certainly raised the profile of the project and the fact that it obtained unanimous support is significant.”

The motion was passed unanimously, with MPPs from across Durham, and from differing parties, voicing support.  Among those voices stating support were Liberal MPP Joe Dickson and Conservative MPP Christine Elliot, both of Durham Region.  Ms. MacCharles, who tabled the private member's motion stating that the Ontario Ministry of Infrastructure should explore the feasibility of supporting the project, called it a win for the area.

“This project is appealing because, one, it's ready to go, but there's also so many potential benefits not just for Pickering but for all of the region and even the province,” Ms. MacCharles said.

“I call it a win-win-win because it addresses safety, there are economic benefits through job creation and it will also increase tourism and boost commercial interests.  There's so many benefits.”

The planned harbour entrance improvements are part of a larger waterfront plan.  An environmental assessment was completed in 2007 and in 2008 Pickering partnered with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to undertake the work.  The City is currently seeking a funding commitment from upper-tier levels of government in order to proceed with the project, which would head directly into the construction stage once funding is secured.

Pickering-Scarborough East MPP Tables Motion
in Support of the Frenchman's Bay Harbour Entrance Project
For Immediate Release
December 8, 2011

Toronto - Pickering-Scarborough East MPP Tracy MacCharles tabled a Private Members' Motion in the Legislature today stating that the Ontario Ministry of Infrastructure should explore the feasibility of supporting the Frenchman's Bay Harbour Entrance Project in Pickering.

Calling the project “well composed, shovel-ready, and both economically and ecologically warranted”, Ms. MacCharles addressed the Legislature on the merits of the project.  Ajax-Pickering MPP Joe Dickson and Donna Cansfield (Etobicoke Centre) also spoke in support of the project.  City of Pickering Deputy Mayor Doug Dickerson, CAO Tony Prevedel, Councillor David Pickles and Nancy Gaffney from the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority were at Queens Park in support of the Motion.  

As part of Ms. MacCharles presentation to the House, she commented that, “Thanks to the hard work from the City of Pickering and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority in preparing this proposal, this project was well received by the Ministry of Infrastructure and is currently under review.”

In addition, Ms.  McCharles spoke about the economic benefit this project would bring to Pickering saying, “The Frenchman's Bay is an important part of Pickering's heritage and adds significantly to the appeal of the community.  The improvements associated with the Habour Entrance will result in an improved economy for the City of Pickering.”

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For more information contact:
Scott Maxwell
Executive Assistant
289-200-1354

Pickering celebrates eco-friendly home
Moya Dillon
December 8, 2011
(durhamregion.com)
Jason Uher & Michelle Boohoo in their new home
Pickering celebrates eco-friendly home.  PICKERING -- Home owners Jason Uher and Michelle Boohoo inside their sustainable home December 2.  Focal point of the room is the masonry heater.  December 2, 2011
Sabrina Byrnes / Metroland

PICKERING -- After a fire ripped through a Pickering home, rendering it uninhabitable, its owners decided to replace the building with an environmentally friendly structure.

Architects, designers and builders were on hand at the home on Pickering's Sideline 4 for a ribbon cutting and tour of the eco-friendly structure on Dec. 2.

Neeraj Jain, of NatureBuilt Wall Systems, became involved with the project early on when the owners decided to use his company's environmentally friendly walls, which use a solid bio-fibre core surrounded by one inch of concrete.

“These offer more than double the installation of other walls, both heat and sound insulation,” Mr. Jain explained.

“They also stand up better to earthquakes and even fire.  Because the straw used for the bio-fibre is so compact, it's like trying to burn a phone book.”

The home was built using a passive solar design, which uses strategically placed windows to allow heat from the sun to warm the house in winter while preventing too much sun in the summer.  The windows also offer a lot of natural light, cutting down on the need for electric lighting.  Other eco-friendly features of the home include eco-bat insulation and a masonry stove that uses heat from a central fireplace for cooking.

“Pretty much everything is green,” Mr. Jain explained, noting the owner wanted to lessen the environmental impact.

“Their old house was very old, so when it burned down the owners wanted to stay in the same spot but decided they wanted to be very environmentally friendly since they had the opportunity to start from scratch.”

Architect Francis Lapointe, along with his students, and a contingent from the China Academy of Building Research were on hand for the unveiling and to tour the home.

Passive Solar Modular Straw Bale Home Event
December 2, 2011

On Friday, December 2, 2011 a ribbon was cut to symbolize the completion of Pickering's first Passive Solar Modular Straw Bale home.  The builder (Construct & Conserve Building Inc.) included some of the newest green building technology available.  They worked in co-operation with Nature Built Wall Systems to build/install the modular straw bale units.  The house has a very modern look with low slope roof lines and large overhangs.  Through proper orientation of the house on the site they managed to harness the sun to passively heat the home.  As a secondary heating source there is a large Tempcast masonry wood burning fireplace.  The Uher family have many reasons to be proud of their new home; their commitment to sustainability is inspirational and will help us on our journey to become a more sustainable city.

Passive Solar Module Straw Bale Home
 
Passive Solar Module Straw Bale Home Ribbon Cutting
 
Pickering going fin free
Moya Dillon
November 23, 2011
(durhamregion.com)
Diane Peck
Shark fin ban.  PICKERING -- Diane Peck is a local activist helping to promote Pickering's proposed shark fin ban.  November 17, 2011
Sabrina Byrnes / Metroland

PICKERING -- The GTA may soon be fin-free as Pickering joins municipalities such as Toronto, Brantford and Mississauga in banning shark fin products within the city.

Activists and opposition parties had turned their focus to Pickering in recent weeks after a similar battle in Toronto ended in council approving a ban.  Pickering resident and activist Diane Peck was one of many people supporting the ban who reached out to council.

“I always wanted to be a marine biologist and I volunteer at the Toronto Zoo in my spare time so I've always loved animals,” she explained of her passion for sharks, noting that after watching the movie Sharkwater in August she began spending her spare time advocating for a ban on shark fin products.

“The movie just horrified me.  Since then all my spare time has gone to doing anything I can to raise awareness.  I was involved in the Toronto fight and when I heard about it happening at home I had to be involved.  We may be a small community compared to a big city but we are part of leading the way in showing the rest of the country this needs to be banned.”

While some councillors have questioned the necessity of a ban when no Pickering-area restaurants are currently serving shark fin products, Ms. Peck says the ban is an important symbolic gesture.

“Nothing is a waste of time if you're doing anything to protect any species,” she explained.  “People say if we don't have shark fin here why should we ban it, but I see it as proactive.  If we don't have it here, why bother to bring it in?”

Others have argued it doesn't make sense to ban one part when the fish as a whole is legal within Canada, which does have a small shark fishery.

“We want to stress that we do care about the ecosystem and the environment, but this is not under municipal jurisdiction,” said Barbara Chiu, president of the Toronto Chinese Business Association, which actively opposed Toronto's ban.

“We don't want municipal governments to waste their money on something the federal government is already taking care of.  Sharks are just like any other type of fish, but people are emotionally looking at finning.  We don't want any inhumane finning either, but our point is if you're only banning one part of a fish that is legal in Canada that's unfair.”

Ms. Chiu said most of that association's members don't see the issue as a business issue.

“Most businesses I talked to mentioned banning shark fins doesn't affect their business because people don't consume shark fin soup on a daily basis,” she said.

At a lively council meeting on Nov. 21 that saw 10 delegations on the shark fin ban alone, Ms. Chiu was joined in opposition by Benedict Leung of the Richmond Hill and Markham Chinese Business Association and Tao (Thomas) Qu, president of the Durham Chinese Canadian Culture Centre.

“The Canadian shark fishery is totally legal and people consume shark meat everywhere in Canada, there's simply not enough evidence linking shark fin soup to fins from illegal finning,” he explained, likening the ban to taking all cars off the street due to one car accident.

“Many friends have told me they really have no problem giving up eating fins, it's not a big deal, even business people have already said this is not a big deal so economics are not an issue.  Let's work on increasing enforcement at the federal level instead and work together to protect endangered animals.”

Rob Sinclair, executive director of WildAid, which works to combat the billion-dollar trade in illegal animal products, likens the issue of shark fins to that of ivory or bear gall bladders in that it is impossible to tell legal products from illegal.

“Of all wildlife that's harvested for parts, the greatest trade is for shark fins.  It's estimated at $750 million to $1 billion annually,” he explained, noting he has extensive experience in the area having worked with the provincial government on legislation to ban bear gall bladders, used in Asian medicinal practises.

“The simple truth is we can't tell the difference between legal and illegal shark fin.  Banning is the only effective way to safeguard the species.  Just as the Province took action on gall bladders and nation states took action on ivory before wider regulations, it is simply time to act.  A ban locally may only save a dozen sharks, but it is acting with leadership and municipal governments, as the level of government closest to the people, have a role to play in this.”

In addition to the many delegations councillors also received countless e-mails from all over the globe supporting a ban on shark fins, including notes from scuba divers, dive instructors and activists from China, the Bahamas, Britain, France, Belgium and more.

Council voted to approve the ban on the possession, sale, trade and distribution of shark fins or derivative products within the city by a vote of five to one, with Coun. Peter Rodrigues dissenting while Coun. Jennifer O'Connell was absent.  The bylaw will come into effect one year from the date of approval, on Nov. 21, 2012, in order to allow time for public education.

Pickering joins shark fin ban
Carola Vyhnak
November 22, 2011
(thestar.com)

Pickering has joined the growing list of municipalities that have banned shark fin products in a bid to help preserve the world's shark population.  Council approved the ban in a vote of 5 to 1 on Monday.

Councillor David Pickles, who initiated the move, said his city of 94,000 is a “small part of an important effort to stop shark finning,” a practice that involves cutting off a shark's fins and tossing it back into the water to die.

“We are concerned that, as bans come into effect in other municipalities such as Toronto and Mississauga, the sale of shark fin products could shift into Pickering on a large scale,” Pickles said.  “We want to stop this before it starts.”

Sharks are being slaughtered at the rate of more than 70 million per year, with experts predicting they could be extinct within 10 or 20 years.

Pickering approves shark fin ban, but won't be in effect until year from now
680News staff
November 22, 2011
(680news.com)

The City of Pickering has approved to ban the sale of shark fins, but it won't come into effect until a year from now.

In a 5-1 vote, council approved it Monday night.

A city official in Pickering told 680News the delay will provide Pickering with an opportunity to see how other municipalities like Oakville, Mississauga and Toronto, approach the issue of enforcement.  

Pickering Fin Free
November 22, 2011
Pickering Fin Free
 
Pickering shark fin ban has teeth: staff report
Moya Dillon
November 16, 2011
(durhamregion.com)
Shark Fin Soup
Pickering moves to ban shark fin products.  TORONTO -- Shark fin soup.  September 2011 Torstar News Services

PICKERING -- Pickering could become the next GTA municipality to ban the sale of shark fin products after a staff report said such a ban is viable.

In a report presented to councillors Nov.  14, City solicitor Paul Bigioni concluded that a shark fin ban could be justified under several sections of the Municipal Act, namely those allowing the City to pass bylaws relating to the “health, safety and well-being of persons,” and the “economic, social and environmental well-being of the municipality.” However, the report also noted that legal challenges are a possibility.

“There are legal arguments both for and against the validity of a municipal shark fin ban,” the report stated.

“It is therefore impossible to predict with certainty whether or not such a ban would survive a legal challenge.”

Councillor David Pickles, who originally put forward the motion requesting the staff report, said he had heard from many residents in support of the ban.

“This is a perfect example of thinking globally and acting locally,” he explained.

“We are doing our part to stop the practice of finning of sharks, which is an atrocity and could lead to the extinction of some shark species within our lifetime.”

Finning is a fishing practice where the fin of a shark is removed and the animal is thrown back into the sea.

Other councillors argued that the ban was a waste of council's time, with councillor Peter Rodrigues noting it was “not Pickering's place to resolve this.”

Council voted five to two in favour of endorsing the report, with councillors Rodrigues and Jennifer O'Connell dissenting.

If the ban is approved, Pickering would join Mississauga, Brampton and Brantford as municipalities that have banned the sale of shark fins.  A final vote on a bylaw to enact the ban will be held at the council meeting on Monday, Nov.  21.

News Release - Ban on Shark Fin Products
For Immediate Release
November 14, 2011

Pickering Supports Recommending Ban on Shark Fin Products

On November 14th, 2011, Pickering's Executive Committee of Council approves the next step to banning shark fin products in the City!  A final decision on the ban should be made at the November 21st Council meeting.

Councillor Pickles, who has led the charge on a shark fin ban in Pickering, commented that “I am very pleased our Council, with the support of residents that I have spoken with, is close to getting this shark fin ban in place”.  “This is a prime case of acting locally to get things done nationally and globally”.  At the Pickering Council Executive Committee meeting of November 14th, 2011, per a previous motion by Councillors Pickles and Dickerson, Pickering Council accepted a staff report regarding a ban on shark fin products.  The report indicated a shark fin ban is within the authority of the municipality and presented a draft By-law for consideration.  The Executive Committee passed a resolution 5-2 with Councillors' Rodrigues and O'Connell dissenting, recommending that Pickering Council adopt a ban and By-law on shark fin products in the City of Pickering.  The recommendation of the Executive Committee will now go to Pickering Council for a final decision on November 21st, 2011.  Councillor Pickles noted that he is optimistic that this ban will be passed at the next Council meeting given the support of the Executive Committee and the general public.  “Due to the bans in Toronto and Mississauga, It is even more important for Pickering to put a ban in place as early as possible; we do not want the shark fin trade relocating to Pickering”.

Councillor David Pickles notes “We believe Pickering residents do not support shark finning and would support a ban.” “We are concerned that, as bans come into effect in other municipalities such as Toronto and Mississauga, the sale of shark fin products could shift into Pickering on a large scale”.  “We want to stop this before it starts”.

A blog with further information and to encourage support has been set-up at www.pickeringlovessharks.blogspot.com.

Pickering has not completed a review of whether or not shark fin products, including shark fin soup are presently available in Pickering but wants to be proactive.

Sharks are being slaughtered world-wide at the rate of over 70 million per year; with experts agreeing that sharks could be extinct within 10 - 20 years at the current rate of slaughter.

Shark finning is a wasteful, inhumane practice that involves cutting off a shark's fins and then tossing the still-live shark back overboard to drown, bleed to death, or be eaten alive by other animals.  While shark fins are considered a delicacy in some restaurants, they have no significant nutritional value and are considered unhealthy for human consumption due to the accumulation of high levels of mercury and other toxins in the fins and flesh.

The Canadian government has banned “shark finning” in Canadian waters since 1994 as has the United States (2009) and the European Community (2003); but the sale of shark fins continues in cities across Canada and the world.  States and municipal governments - including Hawaii, Guam, Washington State, Oregon and California - representing over 47 million people have introduced or proposed bans on the trade and consumption of shark fins; with legislators in mainland China and Indonesia initiating bans and restrictions as well.  The City of Brantford, Ontario is the first municipality in Canada to ban shark fins.

Canadians are becoming better informed about this important issue but there is still a great lack of appreciation of the damage shark finning is causing and how a ban in Canadian communities would help stop this practice.  Councillor Pickles hopes that as more information comes forward and the matter is debated Councillors and residents will lend their support to the motion.  Municipalities can show a leadership role on this issue just as they did on the regulation of smoking and use of pesticides by enacting local bans and encouraging higher levels of government to enact broader bans.

The motion:

  • better informs Pickering residents of shark finning practice
  • supports the protection of sharks and address the concerns regarding endangerment and possible extinction of sharks
  • directs City staff to consider and prepare a draft By-law to ban shark fin products in the City Pickering for Council's consideration in October
  • ensures that as result of bans in other municipalities, particularly a ban being considered by Toronto, the sale of shark fin products does not shift to Pickering
  • encourages other municipalities to likewise consider bans
  • requests that provincial and federal governments enact legislation to ban shark fin products provincially and federally

Deputy Mayor, Doug Dickerson notes “Pickering is once again showing leadership in bringing greater awareness to the matter of shark finning and taking local measures to encourage federal and provincial government to action”.

Councillor Pickles notes that the passing of this motion supports the efforts of Toronto Councillors' Glenn De Baeremaeker and Kristyn Wong-Tam in their efforts to bring forward a ban in Toronto and the efforts of other municipalities.  Councillor Pickles contacted Councillor De Baeremaeker on this matter to ensure cooperation and not have the concern move from one municipality to another.

The provincial election also provides an opportunity for the matter of a ban to be discussed.

-30-

As the gateway to the east GTA, Pickering (population 94,000) is strategically located where Toronto, York and Durham Regions meet and has been recognized by Profit magazine as one of the ten best cities in Canada for growth companies.  Pickering's downtown has been named by the Province of Ontario as an Urban Growth Centre and future Mobility Hub.  The City of Pickering is considered a municipal leader in fiscal management, service delivery, sustainability and the environment.  In 2008, it received the FCM-CH2M Hill Sustainable Community Planning Award.  With its direct access to major highways, educated and skilled labour force, prime employment lands, a world class EN3 (energy/environmental/engineering) sector, and supportive municipal government, Pickering offers unrivalled competitive advantages for business.

Media Contacts:

NameDavid Pickles
TitleCity Councillor - Ward 3
Email addressdpickles@cityofpickering.com
Phone number905.420.4605
TTY905.420.1739

NameDoug Dickerson
TitleDeputy Mayor
Email addressddickerson@cityofpickering.com
Phone number905.420.4605
TTY905.420.1739
Pickering, all Durham councils should ban shark fin products
October 20, 2011
(durhamregion.com)

We urge Pickering council to ban the sale of shark fin products in the city and urge all other local councils in Durham to do likewise.

Normally, when an issue such as this comes before a municipal council, we tend to roll our eyes and think, ‘why don't they deal with local matters only’?  But the truth is this could become a local issue, as Councillor David Pickles noted at a recent meeting.

The non-profit Canadian shark-preservation group Shark Truth is urging Toronto and other cities to follow the lead of California, which instituted a state-wide ban on the sale of shark fins Oct.  10.  Mississauga has already followed suit and Toronto considers the matter on Monday night.

“People will be looking for a place to go to sell these products and Pickering is very close,” Coun. Pickles said recently.

“This is all the more reason for us to move quickly, it certainly puts some pressure on Pickering.”

Who can forget the 1975 movie Jaws, which remains hugely popular.  But Jaws had a horrible effect: it demonized sharks, making the harvesting of shark fins far more acceptable than, for example, killing cute baby seals for their hides.  After all, who could stand up for an ugly creature that prowls the world's oceans and seas seeking human victims?

Truth be told, sharks do nothing of the kind.  We've come to understand that sharks, like the bear and the wolf, don't have it in for us.  They don't have people on their grocery list.  In many cases, shark attacks come about as a result of mistaken identity: great whites often mistake a surfer sitting on his board, dangling his legs in the ocean, for a seal, their favourite prey.

In fact, it's sharks who are on our menus, especially in some countries and in some cultural groups.

Shark populations are falling all over the world and catching them for their fins is a major cause.  This barbaric practice sees sharks de-finned while they're still alive and thrown back into the ocean, helpless and to a certain death.  It's like killing an elephant for its tusks.

It's worth noting that Jaws author Peter Benchley greatly regrets the impact his book and the movie had on our attitudes to these amazing creatures and is now actively involved in saving sharks.

The matter comes before Pickering council's executive committee Nov. 14.  We urge council to go ahead and ban shark fin products here and think other councils should do the same.

Pickering moves to ban shark fin products
Moya Dillon
September 24, 2011
(durhanregion.com)
Shark Fin Soup
Pickering moves to ban shark fin products. TORONTO -- Shark fin soup.  September 2011 Torstar News Services

PICKERING -- Shark fin soup could be a thing of the past in Pickering if council is successful at instituting a ban on shark fin products.

On Sept.  19, council heard a presentation from Jennifer Zabawa, a representative of Fin Free Toronto who also worked on the documentary Sharkwater, regarding the devastation that the international shark fin trade has wreaked on shark populations worldwide.

“Sharks are in trouble,” she explained.  “Tens of millions of sharks are killed each year and the population has dropped by more than 90 per cent, with some species considered extinct.”

Ms. Zabawa explained the process of “finning,” which has been banned in more than 90 countries, as a method of fishing where a shark is pulled from the water, the fin is cut off and then the shark is thrown back in.  Without fins sharks are unable to move normally and either suffocate or fall prey to other predators.  Although banned, enforcement is spotty at best and the practice remains widespread.

“Unfortunately the value of fins is enormous, going for $300 to $400 for a pound of fin, compared to $3 for a pound of shark meat,” Ms. Zabawa said.

“Fins take up less space on a boat and are more valuable.  If you look at fishing in a lot of the world's protected waters there's not a lot of enforcement, it's mostly a manpower issue.  Curbing demand is the main step to ensure shark preservation.”

Although shark fins have no flavour, they have a gelatin-like consistency and are flavoured with chicken broth before being added to soup.  Popular in Chinese cuisine, shark fin soup is traditionally served at important events such as weddings or banquets.  Ms. Zabawa noted that as awareness grows demand will lessen, which could encourage more restaurateurs to use eco-friendly options such as imitation shark fin made from gelatin.

Councillor David Pickles had put forward notice at a previous meeting to introduce a motion requesting staff look into instituting a ban on shark fin products in Pickering.

“The purpose of the motion is to demonstrate that the City of Pickering and its residents support a ban on shark fin products,” he explained.

“This is important not only due to whether product is available but because as other municipalities bring in bans the sale of these products could move to adjoining municipalities.  You may see a ban in Pickering as a small thing but as more and more municipalities bring in bans that sends a strong message to the federal government and shows on a grassroots level that the government needs to bring in a national ban to stop the extinction of sharks.”

Coun. Pickles expressed worry over attempts to institute bans in nearby municipalities such as Toronto, noting that the sale of shark fin products could spill over to Pickering, if the ban is successful, given its close proximity to GTA markets.  Although he was not aware of any restaurants serving shark fin soup in Pickering, Coun. Pickles suggested staff consult local businesses when researching the possibility of a ban.

Council approved the motion for staff to investigate and report back to council on the matter of banning the sale, possession and consumption of shark fins and related products in Pickering.

Staff will report back to council on the matter at a future meeting.


Show your support by joining the Pickering - Save Our Sharks BLOG.


Pickering celebrates grand opening of arboretum
September 23, 2011
(durhamregion.com)

PICKERING -- The City of Pickering will mark the grand opening of its Bicentennial Arboretum on Tuesday, Sept. 27.

The event will take place at the southeast corner of Finch Avenue and Rosebank Road at 1 p.m.  Pickering is one of 23 municipalities to be selected from more than 100 applications to receive a grant from the TD Green Streets program.  The arboretum, with an educational focus, will become a learning ground for schools and residents who wish to learn more about native trees and shrubs.  The number of trees at the arboretum equals the number of schools in Pickering, giving each school the job of being a steward for a tree.  School will also be contributing items that will be placed into a time capsule, buried in the park, to be re-opened in 100 years.

“This is a wonderful initiative that will help inspire our students to become stewards of our environment,” said Mayor Dave Ryan.  “Thank you to the TD Green Streets program for investing in our community's future.”

The arboretum was designed to showcase plants from southern Ontario, including 28 species of native deciduous and coniferous trees as well as native shrubs.  The entire community is invited to the official opening.

“We congratulate the City of Pickering for developing an initiative that will create an important green space in their community,” said Michael Rosen, president of Tree Canada.  “We're pleased that we have been able to support the efforts of the Bicentennial Celebration and we look forward to seeing their plan come to life.”

Pickering to Consider Ban on Shark Fin Products
News Release
(For Immediate Release)

On September 6, 2011 Pickering City Councillor David Pickles gave notice that he will bring forward a motion seconded by Deputy Mayor Doug Dickerson at the Pickering Council meeting on September 19, 2011 to ban the sale of shark fin products in the City of Pickering.

Councillor David Pickles notes “We believe Pickering residents do not support shark finning and would support a ban.” “We are concerned that, as bans come into effect in other municipalities such as Toronto and Mississauga, the sale of shark fin products could shift into Pickering on a large scale”.  “We want to stop this before it starts”.  

Pickering has not completed a review of whether or not shark fin products, including shark fin soup are presently available in Pickering but wants to be proactive.

Sharks are being slaughtered world-wide at the rate of over 70 million per year; with experts agreeing that sharks could be extinct within 10 - 20 years at the current rate of slaughter.

Shark finning is a wasteful, inhumane practice that involves cutting off a shark's fins and then tossing the still-live shark back overboard to drown, bleed to death, or be eaten alive by other animals.  While shark fins are considered a delicacy in some restaurants, they have no significant nutritional value and are considered unhealthy for human consumption due to the accumulation of high levels of mercury and other toxins in the fins and flesh.

The Canadian government has banned “shark finning” in Canadian waters since 1994 as has the United States (2009) and the European Community (2003); but the sale of shark fins continues in cities across Canada and the world.  States and municipal governments - including Hawaii, Guam, Washington State, Oregon and California - representing over 47 million people have introduced or proposed bans on the trade and consumption of shark fins; with legislators in mainland China and Indonesia initiating bans and restrictions as well.  The City of Brantford, Ontario is the first municipality in Canada to ban shark fins.

Canadians are becoming better informed about this important issue but there is still a great lack of appreciation of the damage shark finning is causing and how a ban in Canadian communities would help stop this practice.   Councillor Pickles hopes that as more information comes forward and the matter is debated Councillors and residents will lend their support to the motion.   Municipalities can show a leadership role on this issue just as they did on the regulation of smoking and use of pesticides by enacting local bans and encouraging higher levels of government to enact broader bans.

The intent of the motion is to:

  • better inform Pickering residents of shark finning practice
  • support the protection of sharks and address the concerns regarding endangerment and possible extinction of sharks
  • request that City staff consider and prepare a draft By-law to ban shark fin products in the City Pickering for Council's consideration
  • ensure that as result of bans in other municipalities, particularly a ban being considered by Toronto, the sale of shark fin products does not shift to Pickering
  • to encourage other municipalities to likewise consider bans
  • request that provincial and federal governments enact legislation to ban shark fin products provincially and federally

Deputy Mayor, Doug Dickerson notes “Pickering is once again showing leadership in bringing greater awareness to the matter of shark finning and taking local measures to encourage federal and provincial government to action”.

Councillor Pickles hopes that this motion is passed and will support the efforts of Toronto Councillors Glenn De Baeremaeker and Kristyn Wong-Tam in their efforts to bring forward a ban in Toronto and the efforts of other municipalties.  Councillor Pickles contacted Councillor De Baeremaeker on this matter to ensure cooperation and not have the concern move from one municipality to another.

The provincial election also provides an opportunity for the matter of a ban to be discussed.

-30-

As the gateway to the east GTA, Pickering (population 94,000) is strategically located where Toronto, York and Durham Regions meet and has been recognized by Profit magazine as one of the ten best cities in Canada for growth companies.  Pickering's downtown has been named by the Province of Ontario as an Urban Growth Centre and future Mobility Hub.   The City of Pickering is considered a municipal leader in fiscal management, service delivery, sustainability and the environment.  In 2008, it received the FCM-CH2M Hill Sustainable Community Planning Award.   With its direct access to major highways, educated and skilled labour force, prime employment lands, a world class EN3 (energy/environmental/engineering) sector, and supportive municipal government, Pickering offers unrivalled competitive advantages for business.

Media Contacts:

NameDavid Pickles
TitleCity Councillor - Ward 3
Email addressdpickles@cityofpickering.com
Phone number905.420.4605
TTY905.420.1739

NameDoug Dickerson
TitleDeputy Mayor
Email addressddickerson@cityofpickering.com
Phone number905.420.4605
TTY905.420.1739
Illegal dumping in Pickering
May 09, 2011
(durhamregion.com)

PICKERING -- The City wants residents to keep an eye out for a truck that's been illegally dumping fill in and around Sideline 26 and Concession Road 8.

Over the past couple weeks, there has been an increase in illegal dumping in the north Pickering area.  Illegal dumping is a common occurrence in many municipalities, and particularly in Pickering which still has large area of open and undeveloped space.  Dumped fill could contain toxic or hazardous elements that can pose a threat to residents, wildlife and the local environment, said a City of Pickering press release.

If residents spot a truck dumping fill, they're asked to contact Eyes on the Street, a program that was created to help the community become proactive on problems such as dumping, littering, graffiti and vandalism.

Mayor Dave Ryan said the program has been a great success.

“The more support there is behind this initiative, the better chance we have of mitigating such incidents early on and preventing further impact on our community,” he said.

CALL 905-683-7575

E-MAIL customercare@cityofpickering.com

Transit service increased for Ajax and Pickering residents
May 01, 2011
Reka Szekely
(durhamregion.com)
Martin Ward
Ryan Pfeiffer / Metroland

AJAX -- Martin Ward, deputy general manager of operations with Durham Region Transit, posed for a photo at the garage on Thursday, April 28. DRT is working through a three-year program to enhance service in Ajax and Pickering including additional buses on routes and better on-time performance.  April 28, 2011.

AJAX-PICKERING -- After years of waiting, transit riders in Ajax and Pickering will see increases in service starting this year with more service hours and better on-time performance in both communities.

Martin Ward, deputy general manager of operations for Durham Region Transit (DRT), said an increase in council funding means DRT is adding almost 14,772 hours of transit this year in Durham and of that 10,377 of those hours will go to Ajax and Pickering.  This year, there will be an additional $1.6 million for routes in the two municipalities.

“2011 is a great year for us because council supported a three-year proposal to enhance service in Ajax and Pickering,” said Mr. Ward.

In Ajax the additional hours mean the restoration of midday service to the 226 Duffins route, which was cut in 2008, and midday service for the 222 Audley South route, which currently only runs during rush hour.

The bus routes in Ajax-Pickering will be streamlined with fewer routes but the number of buses on the routes increase.  All the areas that are currently being serviced will continue to be serviced and there will be additions when new communities come online as well as improved evening and weekend service.  Routes with poor on-time performance are being changed and improved.

For example, in Pickering the 107 Rosebank is being shortened and part of the route will go to the 103 Amberlea.  Because it's being lengthened, an additional bus will be added to the Amberlea route.

Changes in Ajax take effect in June while the Pickering changes take effect in October once the pedestrian bridge over Hwy. 401 from the Pickering GO station to the Pickering Town Centre is complete.  The bridge will allow DRT to service a Pickering Parkway terminal instead of having to pull into the GO station.

“Customers won't have to endure sitting in a bus in the traffic going over the 401 on Liverpool and Brock, so it's going the reduce some of the traffic wait and make the buses more efficient,” said Mr. Ward, adding that DRT and GO are still negotiating exactly where the new pickups will be.

As well, DRT has committed to running a bus from the Whitby GO station along Victoria Street then Bayly Street out to the Rouge Hill GO station once the Region widens Bayly Street in the Lynde Creek Marsh area between Ajax and Whitby to two lanes, likely in 2012.

Mr. Ward said DRT identified the need to improve service in Ajax and Pickering years ago.

“In 2008 we identified the routes were becoming inefficient due to traffic and ongoing delays and drivers just didn't have enough time to go around the loops,” he said, adding that this often left buses running late.

In 2009 DRT told the Region's transit executive committee that Ajax and Pickering routes were in big trouble but Regional councillors left the situation as it was.

“There was no money in the budget and there were no service improvements going on,” said Mr. Ward.

Then in 2010, DRT was forced to make emergency changes in Ajax due to the Fairall Street construction near the Ajax GO station.  At the time, DRT was able to make the routes in Ajax more efficient and Mr. Ward said the feedback from residents, especially in the northwest and northeast part of the town, has been good.  Pickering's routes have remained the same since the transit service was amalgamated and desperately needed fine tuning, Mr. Ward said.

Pickering residents are invited to an information session at the Pickering Town Centre on May 5 between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. They can take a look at the proposed changes and get their questions answered by DRT.

All upcoming changes will be communicated to riders through flyers and bulletins on buses as well as advertising in the News Advertiser, said Mr. Ward.

Information will also be available at durhamregiontransit.com.

Pickering brings trees to the city
April 17, 2011
Kristen Calis
(durhamregion.com)
Arnold Mostert
Sabrina Byrnes / Metroland

PICKERING -- The City of Pickering has received a grant of $15,000 from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and Tree Canada to put an arboretum containing 26 different species at the corner of Finch Avenue and Rosebank Road. That's good news to Arnold Mostert, City landscape and parks development co-ordinator.  April 13, 2011

PICKERING -- A rather bare corner in Pickering will soon be lush and green thanks to a $15,000 grant awarded to the City.

Pickering was one of 23 recipients of the 2011 TD Green Streets program, run in partnership by TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and Tree Canada.  The funding will go toward a small arboretum that will contain 26 different species of native deciduous and coniferous trees and shrubs, located at Finch Avenue and Rosebank Road, currently called Sequin Park.

“The staff here are excited that it's going to go ahead and are looking forward to working with the community and making it come to fruition,” said Arnold Mostert, Pickering's co-ordinator of landscape and parks development.

The City had been preparing for this grant for the past couple of years with help from the Altona Forest Stewardship Committee.  They figured it would be a great legacy to leave for 2011 Pickering's bicentennial.

“We're currently doing our urban forest study and strategy as well,” Mr. Mostert said.  “We're trying to get the public to buy into importance of trees in the urban area.”

The grants were open to municipalities, business improvement areas and First Nations communities across Canada.  Mary Desjardins, executive director of the Friend of the Environment Foundation, said out of a stack of more than 100 applications, Pickering's stood out because of the community involvement aspect.

“They're actively involved in local schools and community organizations in the planting of the trees and in the ongoing care and maintenance,” she said.

Mr. Mostert said plans include labeling all of the species and to have a sign at the park explaining them.  What can't fit on the sign will go online.  Also, since there are 26 schools in Pickering, Mr. Mostert hopes each will care for one of the 26 trees.

Ms. Desjardins said plans include encouraging schools to use the space for scientific studies, as an outdoor classroom, where the students can learn about trees such as red maple and white birch, and native shrubs such as winterberry.

She added the arboretum can also be a tool for homeowners to visit and get ideas on the types of trees and shrubs they'd like to plant on their own properties.

The City hopes to set up a planting date sometime in mid-September, and Mr. Mostert said a name change might be in order, possibly calling it Bicentennial Arboretum.

The TD Friend of the Environment and Tree Canada teamed up about a year ago to create the project.  TD has provided more than $54 million to more than 19,500 grassroots environment and wildlife projects across Canada since 1990.  Tree Canada, a not-for-profit charitable organization, engages Canadian companies, government agencies and individuals to support planting trees, greening schoolyards, and other efforts to promote the benefits of trees.

Pickering lends green helping hand
August 05, 2010
(durhamregion.com)

PICKERING -- The City of Pickering wants to help residents get green with energy.

The City has posted easy-to-understand information online so residents and businesses can better understand the Ontario Power Authority's renewable energy feed-in tariff program.

The program allows businesses and homeowners to generate renewable energy through solar, wind and water power, and bioenergy; feed the energy back into the electrical grid; and get financially reimbursed as a result.  The premise is simple, but filled with information, so the City wanted to relay the details in a concise manner for its residents and businesses.

Frequently asked questions, industry and community links and other key information on the program can now be found on the Sustainable Pickering website.

Also, Pickering's building services division is willing to meet with those interested in the program to discuss possible energy installations.

Ward 2 City Councillor Doug Dickerson, chairman of the Sustainable Pickering advisory committee, encourages all Pickering residents and businesses to get involved in the “innovative” program.

“The City of Pickering has embarked on a journey to become the most sustainable city in Ontario,” he said in a press release.  “As such, it's important that we provide our residents and stakeholders with the right knowledge and tools so that they may also participate in our sustainability journey.”

VISIT www.sustainablepickering.com

Mind the hogweed in Pickering neighbourhoods
August 05, 2010
(durhamregion.com)

It's difficult sometimes to believe that a thing of picture-perfect beauty can hide a nasty surprise, but the pretty hogweed plant fits the bill.

The plant, which can grow to six metres, is considered a severe toxic plant by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, which is monitoring sightings of the plant here in Pickering following the recent discovery of some growing locally.

The plant's clear sap contains a chemical that can lead to burning skin blisters, severe irritation or dermatitis.  If it gets into the eyes, it can lead to temporary or even permanent blindness.  In that context, it is imperative that City and Regional officials take quick action to identify plant locations and manage their growth.

In the simplest terms, don't touch the plant if you think you've discovered one in your neighbourhood.  Contact City officials to report the sighting, provide location and descriptive details and ensure that pets or children are kept away.

For their part, City officials must provide area residents with necessary information to protect them from exposure and ensure that sighting reports are duly followed up, recorded and managed appropriately.

Even one injury from hogweed sap is one too many.  Pickering residents must be aware of their surroundings when out and about in any of the various outdoor areas in Pickering, exercise caution and take note of their discovery.

In the meantime, City and Regional officials must remove the hogweed that has been identified, either through herbicide use or complete removal of the offending plants.  And because the plants are biannual -- they grow one year and bloom the next -- it provides some breathing room for an eradication program, should officials choose that option.

The bottom line is that hogweed can't coexist with Pickering residents without the potential for serious injury.  It blooms beautifully but packs a nasty, blister-inducing surprise.

Be careful when you're out and about.  Stay away if you think you've discovered a hogweed plant in your neighbourhood.  Use common sense and care and finally, inform the proper officials.  It doesn't take much to share the information, but it could prevent unnecessary pain, injury and suffering.

-- Metroland Durham Region Media Group

I Took the Challenge!
June 13, 2010
 
Certificate
 

Pickering resident thrilled with renewable energy program
June 17, 2010
Kristen Calis
(newsdurhamregion.com)
Clarence Godinho
Jason Liebregts/ Metroland

PICKERING -- Clarence Godinho recently installed solar panels on his house.  He has offered to open his house for folks interested in learning more about them for the weekend of June 19.  June 14, 2010

PICKERING -- A Pickering homeowner is so thrilled with an Ontario-wide renewable energy program that he plans to show off his new solar panel system to the community Saturday.

Clarence Godinho recently had 14 rooftop solar panels installed on the home he rents out on Liverpool Road in Pickering.  He'll host an open house Saturday to share his experience with the Ontario Power Authority's Feed-In Tariff program (microFIT).  Mr. Godinho will also have Solrcon Green Energy Systems Corporation, the company that installed his system, on hand.

He decided to jump on board with microFIT when he got a pamphlet at his Whitby residence and felt it would benefit both himself and the province.

“Not only is it a good investment for the homeowner where you get a good return but it's good for the environment,” he said.

The program was launched in October to encourage the development of small-scale renewable energy from a diverse range of producers, such as homeowners, farmers, schools, and small businesses.

The most popular microFIT project, according to the OPA's website, is the residential roof-top solar power system.

A big selling point for Mr. Godinho's buy-in was his guaranteed return on investment.  OPA is paying a fixed rate of 80.2 cents per kilowatt for the electricity produced at his home for the next 20 years.

Another reason he bought into the program was for the local labour requirement.  The program stipulates 40 per cent of all of the work must be done in Ontario.

“Starting in January of 2011 it's going to go up to 60 per cent,” Mr. Godinho said.

The installation cost him about $25,000 but he's confident it will pay for itself.

The open house will take place at 701 Liverpool Rd., (Liverpool Road and Commerce Street), from 1 to 5 p.m.

CALL: 416-880-6297

VISIT: www.powerauthority.on.ca

2010 Clean Air and Climate Change Summit
June 2, 2010
 
Certificate
Councillor Pickles, O'Connell & Littley receive Clean Air Climate Charnge Recognition Award
 
Coun. Pickles signing certificate
Councillor Pickles, the first GTA councillor to sign 2010 Clean Air Charter


Tree Planting
 
Tree Planting
 


Durham residents take Earth Hour pledge at Pickering event
March 28, 2010
By Reka Szekely
(newsdurhamregion.com)
Meagan McVety
Sabrina Byrnes / Metroland
PICKERING -- Meagan McVety,11, took a turn answering some energy saving questions at the Annual Sustainable Pickering Day held at the Pickering Town Centre March 27.  March 27, 2010

PICKERING -- Residents from across Durham and the GTA took the pledge to turn their lights off for Earth Hour at a Pickering event on Saturday.

Shoppers signed up at the Pickering Town Centre where the City was celebrating Sustainable Pickering Day.  People who signed the pledge were entered to win a $250 shopping gift certificate to the mall and they also had a chance to record their environmental messages for a video the City is creating.

By mid afternoon, more than 200 people had signed the pledge to turn out their lights and curb their electricity use from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday night.

Among them were 13-year-old Mackenzie Bailey, Katie Huras,14, Taylor Barbieri,13, a group of friends from Ajax.  Mackenzie said she's participated in Earth Hour in the past.  Last year she played cards in the dark.  The girls also observed Earth Hour at school at Lincoln Alexander Public School, said Taylor.

Katie explained why she thought it was important to protect the environment.

“I think in the future life should be the same as it is now and it shouldn't be worse for future generations,” she said.

In addition to the pledge, there were a number of information booths set up by groups like Veridian, Enbridge, Durham Sustain Ability and the Pickering Public Library where residents got practical tips on conserving energy.

“The message we're trying to get across is very simple, it's easy to be sustainable, it's easy to be green,” said Doug Dickerson, Sustainable Pickering Advisory Committee Chairman and City Councillor.

Committee vice-chair and City Councillor Jennifer O'Connell said residents can go online to sustainablepickering.com for tips and try out interactive features like the idle calculator which calculates how much carbon dioxide is created by a resident who idles his or her car and how much it costs them.

Durham Sustain Ability also offered up conservation tips as well as information on the non-profit organization's energy audits.

At the Enbridge booth, Kathleen Hunt talked about her company's solar water heating program.

“It's actually a really exciting pilot project we're promoting this year,” she said adding that the project runs until Dec. 31.  The program is a partnership with Bullfrog Power and EnerWorks.

The solar water heaters would supplement natural gas water heaters using the sun's energy to collected by a solar panel on the roof to heat the water.

She had Peter Watson of Tranquility Home Comfort Ltd., the company that does the installation locally, to answer the more technical questions residents may have, such as whether they have enough space.

“It requires a second tank and not everyone has that storage in their basement,” said Ms. Hunt.

For more information on the program visit bullfrogpower.com/solar or call 1-866-775-8808.

Pickering environmental forum a success: mayor
March 10, 2010
By Kristen Calis
(newsdurhamregion.com)
Michelle Pongracz
Jason Liebregts/ Metroland
PICKERING -- Michelle Pongracz from City of Pickering is the environmental coordinator for the second annual Environmental Leadership Forum.  March 2, 2010

PICKERING -- Thanks to the good work of Pickering's community leaders, the City is transforming from a suburban to a sustainable community, said Mayor Dave Ryan.

And the work demonstrated at Saturday's second annual Environmental Leadership Forum at the Pickering Civic Complex was no exception.

Mayor Ryan congratulated Ward 1 Regional Councillor Bonnie Littley, member of Environmental Stewardship Pickering, and the rest of the group for a successful event at Monday's council meeting.

“It was well done, well attended and I know there will be good work coming out of the community as a result of this,” he said.

The event was hosted by Environmental Stewardship Pickering, a collaborative effort between the City of Pickering, Toronto and Region Conservation, Ontario Power Generation, East Shore Community Association, Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade, Durham Sustain Ability and individual community members.  The forum is held to educate residents and community groups and to provide them with the tools they need to become leaders in environmental stewardship activities.

“The idea is they can take that information home, be more sustainable at home and do something in the community,” said Michelle Pongracz, City coordinator, environmental awareness programs.

The forum also helps community groups address and overcome obstacles that hinder their environmental conservation efforts.

“One of our objectives with the forum is to demystify environmental stewardship and remove the intimidation factor,” Coun. Littley said.  “Everyday people can become leaders by doing simple things like organizing a community clean-up or planting some trees.”

Last year, 65 to 70 people attended.  That number increased to 100 this year.

“It's really a wide variety of people that come,” Ms. Pongracz said.

The variety allows for some good networking opportunities, she said, since everyone from students to teachers to business representatives attend.

A wide range of displays was set up, including information on waste reduction and waste collection.

The following break-out sessions were provided: amphibian and reptile monitoring and identification, community volunteering and funding success stories, greening your event, improving energy efficiency at home, effective communication strategies, how to organize a tree planting event and vermicomposting 101.

Those in attendance were handed a feedback form to help make next year's event even better.

Environmental Leadership Forum
 
Image
Councillor Pickles, Councillor Littley and participants at the Environmental Leadership Forum


The Great Canadian Cleanup
Six mayors paint their towns green January, 2010
by Barbara Yaffe

With climate change back in the public mind following the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen last month, we thought we'd take a look at some homegrown green innovators in cities across our country.

Read more about the innovators here.

Councillor Pickles Energy Audit
December, 2009
Event by Laura Oliver

Councillor David Pickles received his 2nd round energy audit from Durham Sustain Ability and Windfall Ecology Centre Last month.

Read more about the results here.

Pickering's bright future
Thursday November 19th, 2009
By Kristen Calis
(newsdurhamregion.com)
Pickering's Bright Future
Photo by Laura Stanley
PICKERING -- Homeowner and Councillor David Pickles and David Drodge, senior certified energy advisor from the Windfall Ecology Centre, tested and measured air leaks at Mr. Pickles' home November 12.
November 12, 2009

PICKERING -- A local non-profit organization wants Durham Region to stand up for the environment.

Pickering-based Durham Sustain Ability, which provides community-based solutions centred around sustainability, has re-launched its We have the Power program with hopes that 1,500 residents will make a pledge to reduce and conserve in the areas of energy, transportation, waste and water by March.

Rachael Wraith, DSA public relations coordinator, said these small steps will bring a brighter future and will not only save the environment, but also residents' wallets.

“It's not a trend anymore,” she said. “It's the way things are moving.”

At least one Pickering councillor has taken the challenge.

About 18 months ago, Ward 3 City Councillor David Pickles had an audit conducted on his home by senior certified energy advisor David Drodge, of Windfall Ecology Centre, to see where he should make improvements for a more efficient family home.  After making upgrades, Mr. Drodge returned to measure the difference and determine how much money Coun. Pickles would be reimbursed through the federal government's ecoENERGY retrofit grant program, which offers grants to homeowners after improving efficiency.  The Province matches the federal amount.

He learned replacing his 22-year-old furnace with a new, high-efficiency one, plus getting new windows, replacing insulation, weather-stripping and caulking would be the best changes.  He did just that and has seen lower energy bills since.

“It's an absolute money-saver if you have to replace your furnace anyway,” Coun. Pickles said

He added people in homes around 20 years old should seriously consider replacing their furnaces before they break down.

He's also made a number of small changes such as replacing old light bulbs with low-energy ones as they burn out and installing ceiling fans in the bedrooms.

“It keeps you comfortable without having to turn on the air conditioning,” he said.

All told, the changes cost about $4,000.

Last week, Mr. Drodge returned to determine the improvements.  The audits cost less than $500 for the two visits.

“We've been real busy this year,” Mr. Drodge said. “This is the busiest I've seen it.”

Results showed Coun. Pickles' energuide rating (a measurement used for the ecoENERGY program) increased from 64 to 75 and he reduced his greenhouse gas emissions by 2.8 tonnes per year.

He'll get $2,000 back in provincial and federal grants.  Although he was hoping for a little more, “to put out $4,000 and to get $2,000 back is well worth it.”

Plus, he said, he's going to save on energy bills in the long run and, after replacing the furnace, “the place is more comfortable now.”

DSA will hand out prizes to those who excel with their changes.  People who simply take the pledge will receive tools to start up.

To make the pledge or for more information:
Visit: www.wehavethepower.ca
Call: 905-427-0061

Energy efficiency can pay off for you in the long run
Thursday November 19th, 2009
(newsdurhamregion.com)

If you're looking for a little financial incentive to take a big step toward making energy efficiency changes to your home, the ecoENERGY retrofit grant program might be the answer.

Durham Sustain Ability, a local group which seeks ecological solutions to problems that encourage sustainability, is pushing its We Have the Power program and wants 1,500 residents to try to conserve energy, water, waste and transportation.

The goal is to cut emissions and reduce consumption.

A great place to start is right in your very own home. Reducing energy will not only help the environment, but also, in the long run, be less of a drain on your wallet.

Pickering Councillor David Pickles is a case in point.  The local rep had an energy audit done on his home 18 months ago. He then followed the advice of the auditor, making about $4,000 worth of changes.  The biggest purchase was his decision to replace his 22-year-old furnace with a new, high-efficiency one.  He also got some new windows, replaced some insulation and weather-stripping and made some minor alterations like replacing old light bulbs with low-energy ones and installing ceiling fans.

For all those changes, he'll get back $2,000 in total in provincial and federal grants.

Those living in homes with a furnace hitting the 20-year-old mark are due for a replacement anyway, Mr. Pickles reasons, and an energy-efficient one will save money, reduce energy use and allow the owner to receive a grant.

It all makes sense.

The two energy audits cost him a total of $500 and he feels the money spent was well worth it. He was also able to reduce his greenhouse gas emissions by 2.8 tonnes per year.

For Rachel Wraith, Durham Sustain Ability public relations co-ordinator, the move to energy reduction “is not a trend anymore, it's the way things are moving.”

And David Drodge of Windfall Ecology Centre, the auditor who visited Mr. Pickles's home to check his energy efficiency before and after he made changes, said he's never been busier.

With the cost of energy on the rise and the need to conserve growing ever more important, it's probably never been a better time to take that step to greater efficiency.  The federal and provincial governments should be encouraged to continue this program and expand it as Canadians push to be greener.

-- Ajax-Pickering News Advertiser

Garden Event
Pickering
Garden Event

Sustainable Pickering

Background

The City of Pickering launched its Sustainable Pickering journey in September, 2005.

Sustainable Pickering is a better way of doing business requiring the City to integrate economic, social and environmental objectives to achieve a distinctive community that is a desired place to live, work, invest and raise a family. Sustainability will only be achieved through partnerships between all levels of government, our private sector and most importantly the community who see this as an investment for future generations.

The journey can generally be divided into three phases.

  • Phase One: Building Local Understanding and Capacity
  • Phase Two: Developing a Solid Foundation and Framework
  • Phase Three: Creating the Sustainable City

We are now entering Phase Three of the journey.


Office of Sustainability

The City of Pickering is the first municipality in the Province of Ontario to establish an Office of Sustainability.  A key role of the Office is to oversee and coordinate the City's Sustainable Pickering program.  Working closely with others, the Office of Sustainability is involved in a broad range of initiatives that help make Pickering a more sustainable City - environmentally, socially and economically.

Creating an Office of Sustainability sends a strong and clear message that the City is serious about continuing its Sustainable Pickering journey, and furthers our intent of becoming a leader in sustainable community development.


Measuring Sustainability

In 2007 the City of Pickering furthered its Sustainable Pickering journey by embarking on a benchmarking initiative “Measuring Sustainability”.

This process is important for reasons such as:

  • Anything worth doing is worth measuring;
  • We need to know where we are as a City, in relation to sustainability, so that we can determine whether we're making progress or falling behind;
  • The City should regularly inform the public, in a clear and concise manner, about the status of the Sustainable Pickering program.

Measuring sustainability is an important means of evaluating the City's level of development, revealing trends in citizens' satisfaction, offering a fair and objective assessment of Pickering residents' quality of life, and helping municipal leaders evaluate the impact of their policies and actions.

Sustainability indicators help cities draw conclusions about social, economic, and environmental progress.  Moreover, as part of a region that is one of the fastest growing in Canada, the City of Pickering wants to ensure it develops in a way that meets the needs and wishes of its residents and businesses, those that are here today as well as those that will come to Pickering in the future.

 
Pickering Businesses Go Green
Wednesday January 21st, 2009
(newsdurhamregion.com)
 
Pickering Going Green
Melissa Mancini / Metroland

PICKERING - Gail Lawlor, from Durham SustainAbility, talks about the new EcoBusiness program launched in association with the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade.  The program will help businesses become more environmentally friendly.  January 19, 2009.

PICKERING - It can be something as simple as encouraging employees to take public transportation to work or a more complex project like replacing old office equipment like printers with Energy Star models.

Members of the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade can now make use of the Eco-Checklist. The list consists of easy and cost-effective changes that businesses can implement to make their operations greener.  The actions fall under four categories: transportation, water conservation, pollution, and waste reduction and energy conservation.

The list was created as a tool for businesses to use to help identify opportunities for change. It was the brainchild of a group of volunteers from the Town of Ajax, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Veridian Connections and Durham Sustain Ability.

The list was launched Jan. 19 at Monarch Kitchen and Bath Centre in Pickering.  It was a project two years in the making, Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade president John G. Smith said.

"The Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade firmly believes in the ideals of sustainability," he said.

Two businesses were presented with certificates for their participation in the project.  Messier Dowty received a certificate of commitment for the company's vow to participate in the program.

Monarch Kitchen and Bath Centre was presented with a certificate of accomplishment for completing 80 per cent of the items on the checklist.

Many local politicians were on hand to celebrate the new program, including Pickering Mayor Dave Ryan, Ajax Mayor Steve Parish and Regional Chairman Roger Anderson.

Nothing can be accomplished to help the environment unless the private sector helps, Mayor Parish said.

Regional Chairman Anderson lauded participating businesses for their role in the program.

"It's always nice when companies do something before governments mandate them to do it," the regional chairman said.

Other businesses in the region could take a lesson from these leaders, he said.

 
Sustainability Pickering Promotes Biking

Mayor Ryan, Shawna and Councillor Pickles promoting biking as an alternative mode of transportation supporting a Sustainable Pickering
 
NEWS RELEASE
CITY OF PICKERING WINS FCM'S PREMIER SUSTAINABILITY AWARD

Pickering, ON, June 5, 2008 - At a recognition ceremony held at the 71st Annual Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Conference and Municipal Expo in Quebec City, the City of Pickering took home arguably the most prestigious award, when it was presented with the 2008 FCM-CH2M HILL Sustainable Community Award in Planning.

This nationwide competition recognizes the very best of Canadian municipalities' efforts to create more environmentally responsible, livable and sustainable communities.  The Planning award is held in such high regard, because it is not focused on a single project or outcome.  Rather, it recognizes a municipality's long term vision and corresponding action plan that will balance the multifaceted needs of its residents, businesses and stakeholders today within the framework of tomorrow.  Pickering's groundbreaking Sustainable City Project was deemed the absolute best of its kind amongst all Canadian cities and towns.

“The City of Pickering is both thrilled and honoured to win FCM's premier Sustainability Award.  Being recognized as one of the country's foremost sustainability leaders will empower the City to reach out and engage a broader and more diverse audience with our sustainability message,” said Mayor Dave Ryan.  “We embarked on this journey to become the most sustainable community in North America, and this award affirms the progress we are making.”

As Chair of Sustainable Pickering, Councillor Doug Dickerson believes that what has been learned by visiting and observing the best of what other cities are doing with respect to the environment and sustainability has really propelled Pickering forward.  “We have combined the best practices of others with our own innovations to engage our community's residents and businesses,” said Councillor Dickerson.  “In large measure, it is their enthusiasm and support for the sustainable projects we have undertaken that has led to and made this award possible.”

As the gateway city to the east GTA, Pickering (population 94,000) is strategically located between Toronto and Durham Region.  Pickering is an affluent community that is steeped in history, natural beauty and small town charm with all the amenities and services that a big city has to offer.  The City of Pickering is considered a municipal leader in fiscal management, service delivery, sustainability and the environment; and offers a wealth of sports, leisure and recreation opportunities for its residents.  Pickering has been recognized by Profit magazine as one of the ten best cities in Canada for growth companies and received the 2008 FCM-CH2M Sustainable Community Planning Award.

- 30 -
Media Contact: Mark Guinto
 Executive Assistant to the Mayor
 905.420.4660 ext. 2013
 416.409.0559 (mobile)
 mguinto@city.pickering.on.ca
 
Pickering wins big sustainability award
Wed Jun 04, 2008
(newsdurhamregion.com)

PICKERING -- Pickering does more than just talk about its sustainable initiatives, and that's what helped the City win a prestigious award last weekend, says a Pickering City Councillor.

“Our way: talk a little bit and do a little bit,” Ward 2 City Councilllor Doug Dickerson said in an interview.

Pickering was named Canada's leading municipality in sustainable planning for 2008 at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' (FCM) 71st Annual Conference and Municipal Expo.  The Quebec City conference was from May 29 to June 2 and honoured Pickering with the CH2M HILL Sustainable Community Award, which recognizes planning that demonstrates environmental excellence.  All members of council and Mayor Dave Ryan accepted the award before 2,100 conference delegates.   “It's the only award given for that,” Councillor Dickerson said.  “We hope it spurs us on to maybe get a few more.”

Councillor Dickerson, along with Ward 1 City Councillor Jennifer O'Connell and Ward 3 City Councillor David Pickles, are members of the Sustainable Pickering Advisory Committee and determined to help Pickering remain a leader in sustainability.  All three also believe both the federal and provincial governments have to provide more funding for sustainbable initiatives.

Councillor Dickerson said FCM representatives spoke to him and the City's director of the office of sustainability, Tom Melymuk, about possibly featuring Pickering as a model in sustainability.

 
Pickering councillor gets energy audit on home
Fri May 09, 2008
(newsdurhamregions.com)
Kristen Calis

PICKERING - A Pickering City councillor with a home fairly representative of other Durham houses opened his doors Monday for an energy audit.

“At least when we talk about energy audits in the future I'll know what they're all about,“ said Ward 3 Councillor David Pickles.

The audit is part of the federal government's ecoENERGY retrofit grant program, and the Province will match the federal amount.  The average grant is expected to be more than $1,000 from each government, and should yield about a 25 per cent reduction in energy use and costs.  Durham Sustain Ability is working with the Windfall Ecology Centre to deliver audits to residents across Durham.

David Drodge, a certified energy advisor with Windfall, went room to room to determine where the Pickles family could make changes to improve the energy efficienty of its home.  My. Drodge measure the exterior of the house to properly determine its energy consumption, and also counted the windows and took photographs.  He then checked the insulation throughout the home and used devices such as a blower door test to detect sources of heat and energy loss.  The blower shows exactly where air esdcapes from the home.

Grant Amounts

The following are some of the grant amounts the Province will match:

Replace furnace = $300 to $600

Increase attic insulation - $100 to $600

Perform air sealing - $150

Replace central air conditioning - $200
Before the audit began, Councillor Pickles thought his furnace would be the greatest energy consumer, since it's about 20 years old.  On inspection, Mr. Drodge found the furnace iss only 75 per cent in annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE), and noted high-efficiency furnaces are now as high as 96 per cent.

“Based on what I've seen, this is probably going to be your biggest potential for energy savings,” he told Councillor Pickles.

And he was right.  Mr. Drodge put his findings into a software system the next day and Winddfall's program manager, Jen Atkinson, was able to give the results.  She said Mr. Drodge found the Pickles family could decrease its energy consumption by about 25 per cent.  The three biggest ways to do this are: getting a high-efficiency furnace; adding more insultaion in the basement walls; and improving air tightness through draft-proofing.

“If he completes them all he can save 2.4 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year,” Ms. Atkinson said.

Councillor Pickles has taken other small steps to improve his household's energy consumption.  For example, he uses LED tube lights at Christmas with a timer, and as his regular light bulbs burn out he replaces them with energy-efficient ones.  Councillor Pickles got the Peaksaver program installed about a year ago, which Veridian customers can get if they have an electric water heater or air conditioner.  The installed thermometer will reduce air conditioning electricity use during peak hours, usually between noon and 6 p.m. on weekdays, and it's free.

The audit costs $325, and the Province will refund $150.  To book an audit or for more information call 905-427-0061 or e-mail info@sustain-ability.ca.  For Peaksaver information call 1-866-323-0206.

 
Sustainable Pickering

The City of Pickering is on a path to becoming a leader in sustainable community development with the launching of Sustainable Pickering.

I believe that a Sustainable Pickering means a new way of doing business, by balancing economic, social and environmental objectives to achieve a more distinctive community.  This enhances an already good City, as an even more desirable place to live, work and raise a family.

In order to ensure that our community has a bright future, providing benefits over the long term, we are benchmarking standards for sustainability in Pickering and measuring our progress along the way.

Our five objectives are:

  • Healthy Environment
  • Healthy Society
  • Healthy Economy
  • Responsible Development
  • Responsible Consumption

We are committed to ongoing consultation with the community as well as developing indicators and targets that can be measured.  In early 2006 we held three Town Hall Meetings - I was pleased to attend the meeting in Claremont - to hear the views and ideas of residents.  I look forward to continuing to work with the residents, businesses and community groups.

Our current sustainability initiatives include (but are not limited to):

  • Anti-Idling
  • Hybrid Vehicle
  • Eyes on the Street
  • Environmental Education
  • Highway 401 Pedestrian Bridge
  • Partners for Climate Protection
  • Sustainable Neighbourhood Plan
  • Energy Reduction Measures
  • Communities Against Violence Everywhere (CAVE)

I was pleased to recently attend both the 2006 Smog Summit with GTA Municipalities and the 2006 Sustainability Conference with experts and municipalities to bring ideas back to use here in Pickering.  I am looking for ways we can help protect the environment, make our community better and perhaps save us all some money.  For more information on this exciting initiative please log on to www.sustainablepickering.com

 
Earth Day 2008

Earth Day Scouts 2008
Councillor Pickles lending the Boy Scouts a hand on Earth Day
 
Councillor Pickles' Environmental Stand

David Pickles and Family on bikes
Councillor Pickles, wife Brenda and their two daughters.

Councillor Pickles has a Bachelor of Environmental Studies - Honours Geography Degree from the University of Waterloo, he has a particular interest and involvement in protecting our environment.

 
David Pickles and Dalton McGuinty
I was pleased to have the opportunity to discuss Seaton and Pickering's Growth Management Study with Premier Dalton McGuinty.  I have found that the best way to represent residents' and the City's interests is to maintain a good working relationship with our representatives at Queen's Park and in Ottawa.

Councillor Pickles sits as the City's representative on the Toronto Region Conservation Authority's Taskforce on the Duffins and Carruthers Creeks Watershed Plans and on the City's Steering Committee for the Growth Management Study.  The objectives of the Plan include protecting water courses environmentally sensitive areas, rehabilitating altered areas such as former gravel pits and fish habitat, and creating trails.

 
Protecting the Environment

 Smog Summit June 2006
Councillor Pickles at the Smog Summit
Councillor Pickles attended the Smog Summit in June 2006 with GTA Mayors and Councillors to discuss initiatives to address poor air quality.
 
Councillor Pickles speaking with  Toronto Mayor Miller
Councillor Pickles attended the Smog Summit and takes the opportunity to discusses environment, diversity and transportation matters with Toronto Mayor Miller.

 Reintroducing Atlantic Salmon to Duffins Creek May 2006
Councillor Pickles releasing Atlantic Salmon
Councillor Pickles, a member of the Toronto Region Conservation Authority's Duffins Creek Watershed Task Force, releases Atlantic salmon into the creek as part of the re-introduction of the native salmon into the watershed

For further information, visit www.bringbackthesalmon.ca

 
Mayor Ryan and Councillor Pickles releasing Atlantic Salmon
Mayor Ryan and Councillor Pickles assist in re-stocking Atlantic Salmon into Duffins Creek - May 2006.
 
Councillor Pickles releasing Atlantic Salmon
Councillor Pickles, as the Council representative on the Duffins and Carruthers Creek Task Force, helps reintroduce Atlantic Salmon to Duffins Creek in Greenwood - May 2006.
 
Other Environmental Matters

Councillor Pickles has emphasized that any new urban development in north Pickering, including Seaton, must protect environmentally significant areas.  He has participated in the City's on-going growth management study on the basis that we need a "made in Pickering plan" to ensure that we the residents get to shape our community.  He has not supported all aspects of the study (including the inclusion of the lands west of West Duffins Creek) and he is emphasizing the need for public participation, openness and accountability in addressing these land use issues, and the protection of environmentally sensitive areas.

Councillor Pickles has represented residents' interests and has been an active participant in the Growth Management Study on the steering committee and public open houses.  He took the time to participate with other interested residents in the Growth Management Workshop to hear their views.  His approach is that the best way to get his views and the views of those that he represents heard is to be at the table.

"It is important that we do the proper environmental studies to guide us in protecting the most sensitive environments and in planning the type of communities we want in Pickering" notes Councillor Pickles.

Pickering's study will be the most complete environmental and planning study with the most public input that has yet been undertaken for the area.  This study will provide useful information to assist Pickering in making future decisions on possible development.

"I was pleased to have the opportunity to discuss Seaton and Pickering's Growth Management Study with Dalton McGuinty, the new Premier of Ontario" notes Councillor Pickles.  Councillor Pickles is interested in hearing from the Provincial Government about the status of the "land swap" and their approach to north Pickering and Seaton.

He does not support locating an airport in Pickering. I have been the loudest, clearest, and most consistent voice on Council in this regard.  He is participating and representing residents in meetings with Transport Canada, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) and interested community groups and associations discussing matters regarding the federal lands in north Pickering.  He remains un-convinced that an airport is needed or makes economic sense.

There are other environmental issues to be addressed such as recycling and waste.  Councillor Pickles was pleased to support expanding our recycling program and opening a hazardous waste depot in Pickering.  He treats environmental issues with importance.

Councillor Pickles has represented the interests of the City including the residents of our hamlets Claremont, Greenwood, Brougham, Whitevale, Green River, Kinsale, and Cherrywood on these issues.


Pickering Water Safe

Water Pump

The E. coli contamination of Walkerton's water and the resulting illness and death is a tragedy.  I know many Pickering residents' thoughts were with the people of Walkerton and with our own water.

The majority of residents in Pickering receive their water from the Ajax Water Supply Plant operated by the Region of Durham.  I have personally spoken with Region of Durham officials whom assure that the water system maintained by the Region remains safe. Water testing is done regularly by both the Regional Works Department and the Regional Health Department and there is no contamination of the water.

Other residents, particularly in north Pickering draw their water from wells.  Some wells may experience problems from time to time and should be maintained and tested regularly.



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