Sackville may get full-time climate change co-ordinator after all


Kieran Miller addressing council on Monday

Sackville town staff have applied for a $63,500 provincial grant to hire a full-time climate-change co-ordinator for two years.

“The idea is to pilot the position to test its value and effectiveness,” Kieran Miller, the new senior manager of corporate projects told town council during its regular meeting on Monday.

She said that if the grant application is successful, the money would come from New Brunswick’s Environmental Trust Fund which supports projects that protect, preserve and improve the natural environment.

Last August, the Mayor’s Roundtable on Climate Change suggested that the town contribute $25,000 a year toward hiring a full-time co-ordinator to help it pursue its priorities, but town council decided to set aside $35,000 instead for other climate change projects including hiring a student for 18 weeks next summer.

Miller cautioned council on Monday that the $63,500 grant is not a sure thing, but if it does come through next spring, the town would be able to hire a co-ordinator to work with the Roundtable and to help implement the town’s long-term plan to adapt to climate change.

She said the town and the non-profit, environmental group EOS Eco-Energy would jointly manage the co-ordinator position and assess its value.

“It’s a really great opportunity to use some funding to test the position,” Miller said during an interview later in which CAO Jamie Burke also took part.

“It’s a really exciting opportunity, there’s no guarantees, but in the event we do have a successful application, it’s going to be an exciting pilot project,” Burke said.

In August, Roundtable spokesman Richard Elliot said the co-ordinator could help in a variety of ways including developing links with other municipalities, revising the climate change “lens” used to advise the town on its spending as well as developing training for new councillors.

Burke said the co-ordinator could handle communications and organizing events around climate change week or assisting with any changes to the town’s recycling program.

He said the co-ordinator could also help if the town needs to revise its application for the federal-provincial funding needed to complete the Lorne Street flood control project.

The town’s initial application for Phase III was turned down because the province was placing more emphasis on clean water projects, but Burke says Sackville is still intent on building an additional retention pond behind the community gardens and draining the storm water across the industrial park to an aboiteau near the town’s main sewage lagoons.

It’s estimated the total cost of Phase III would be $4.6 million with the town’s share ranging from $1.24 to $1.52 million.

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3 Responses to Sackville may get full-time climate change co-ordinator after all

  1. Wayne Feindel says:

    A climate coordinator, eh ! There are homeless people out there folks. There are battered women that need shelter, there are serious indigenous peoples issues. There is the fall out from Covid -19 about to descend on all of us. There are small businesses going under all around you. Get Real !! Canada is less than 0,49% of the total world population. Even if a coordinator could organize a don’t break wind for an hour flash mob at town hall, your grant would be blowing in the wind. Literally. We can’t even coordinate the distribution of vaccine. Like you didn’t know there were that many people in Canada. On the other hand if your tax dollars are in the wind you better have your butterfly net out.

  2. Les Hicks says:

    Hi Wayne, there definitely are all of those problems that you listed that have to be dealt with, but if you actually accept the scientific evidence, the most significant danger facing all of us is human induced climate change. Our federal government and others around the world have been promising to take this issue seriously for years now, yet to this point they have not begun to
    meet the commitments that they signed on to at the Paris Agreement in 2015. During the 2019 federal election the government again promised to scale up it’s actions to meet net zero green house gas emissions by 2050 but has done very little since then to tackle this REAL problem.

    Direct action to inform the general public about the existential threat of unchecked climate change has to start somewhere so perhaps enlightening the world’s population at the municipal levels of government will lead to more pressure on our provincial/state and national governments to take REAL action on this issue, rather than just paying lip service to it. Considering the devastating impact that the lack of action will have on our community, $25,000 does not sound like an unreasonable expense, especially considering the value of the lives of our children and grand-children. We can either take this problem seriously and attempt to stop this runaway climate change, or bury our heads in the sand and wait for the day when this planet will be uninhabitable (in the not too distant future). If you or others are interested, you can find some detailed information on this issue at : https://climateactiontracker.org/countries/canada/

  3. Wayne Feindel says:

    Very well put Les! There is always the bigger ill defined greater mountain to die on. But none of us want to freeze in the dark even if the cause is laudable. Making sure that the basic needs of Canadians are met will go much further in saving energy if they’re not tenting in the forest.

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