Direct Civic Participation

August 7, 2022

The Hamilton Chapter of the Council of Canadians' response to the City of Hamilton's request for feedback regarding the Community Energy and Emissions Plan Draft document:

The Hamilton Chapter of the Council of Canadians urges the City to hold every decision they have to make up to a climate justice lens. We also urge, guided by our core concerns of People Planet and Democracy, that this responsibility to consider the climate justice ramifications of every decision is somehow enshrined in your daily log, becomes part of Council’s DNA, and those who administer City Hall would have a duty to say Hold On! You forgot to consider climate justice and equity here!

We also call on you to invite diverse voices into these discussions. Your staff may be trained experts, but it’s unlikely they have lived experience of coping with temperatures of 30 degrees that feel like 35 without adequate air circulation or of having to trade items for bus tickets in order to get to appointments or to try for a job, and so many other of the struggles poor people in our town go through because the minimum wage is so meagre, let alone the cruel pittance of so-called social assistance. Your decisions can’t promote equity if your advice lacks the means to do so.

One of the most vital things the City can do right away with its climate plan is to make transit free for all. Studies show that the middle classes support programs more wholeheartedly when they are included in them. Also, we need to encourage those who own vehicles to use them less often and transit more: making transit free even for those with adequate incomes spares them the hassle of having to keep Presto cards loaded or exact change on hand, and it will make life much less stressful and more expansive for those whose income is inadequate, because they will be able to go new places and seek out free entertainment and green spaces.

The Hamilton Chapter would like to see even more focus on using solar power in our city. There’s many exciting projects in Alberta, California and other parts of the world to draw from which include exploring the challenge of storing solar energy.

And we don’t approve of Enbridge being at the table! This company is in the process of desecrating the headwaters of the Mississippi River, and has threatened the Beverly Swamp in our own area as well. Vested interests already have huge lobbying privileges; they shouldn’t be allowed more influence as their goal is not to preserve the natural world and the seven generations, but will only and always be expansion till their last pipeline gets vetoed.

We are encouraged at the scope of your plan, and hope you will take our suggestions to heart for the sake of all people in Hamilton, our ecologically significant part of the planet, and our battered democracy which needs serious strengthening!

Yours truly,

Mary Love

Council of Canadians Hamilton Chapter secretary

June 29, 2022

The City of Hamilton recently released a draft of the Community Energy & Emissions Plan (CEEP).

While there are a lot of decent components to the City’s plan, Enbridge appears to have influenced the City staffers. There are multiple references in the draft plan to “renewable natural gas,” which is extremely misleading. All “natural gas,” while it does occur naturally, is just methane by another name, and an extremely high carbon producer. It’s clearly meant to mislead people into thinking it’s a benign product so Enbridge can continue to capitalize on its pipeline expansions instead of curtailing that expansion and even shutting some of their pipeline empire down.

The City will be holding an information session about the CEEP this Wednesday, June 29th and are accepting comments from the public, which can be submitted on-line.

The CoC Hamilton Chapter, as initiated by the Pipeline and Fossil Fuel Resistance Group of Hamilton 350 (PAFFRG), suggests you include the following in your comments:

  • Call on the city to ban the installation of fossil fuel connections in new buildings as other cities have done.

  • Urge them to commit to full electrification of the HSR rather than planning to rely on so-called renewable natural gas for at least half the fleet.

  • Tell them that the fossil fuel giant Enbridge Gas must be removed from the oversight group for the strategy.

In June of 2021 citizens occupied the Enbridge office in Waltham, Massachusetts, a state named after a now extinct Indigenous tribe who lived in the eastern part of it.

"I’m really alarmed about climate change and how poorly as a society we are dealing with it, and I’m here because there are companies like Enbridge that have been given social license to continue doing what they’re doing,” said one of the protesters, Jeff Gang.

The occupiers called on Enbridge to stop violating treaty rights in Minnesota by pushing Line 3 through Indigenous land and also called on Enbridge to shut down a "natural gas” compressor citizens consider “dangerous and unjust to the people nearby” in another town in Massachusetts. The occupation lasted 24 hours and led to 3 arrests. “Enbridge doesn’t tolerate trespassers.”


Hamilton is behind in its planning for climate adaptation! Citizens have to turn up the heat if we're to escape the worst outcomes for ourselves and our fellow Hamiltonians and our animal neighbours. Check out what others are doing to improve our chances:

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