On Wednesday Sept 8th Lanark County council unanimously passed a resolution to Recognize Truth and Reconciliation Day on Sept 30th.
The motion refers to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report in 2015 that included 94 Calls to Action to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation, and it follows recent discoveries of remains in unmarked graves across the country, leading to increased calls for all levels of government to address the recommendations in the TRC Calls to Action. The statutory holiday was recently established by the federal government (not Ontario’s provincial legislature) to address the recommendation to ensure public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools.
“This day provides an opportunity for us all to recognize and commemorate the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools,” said Warden Christa Lowry (Mississippi Mills Mayor). “It is also a day to honour and remember the survivors, their families and communities who continue to bear witness to these tragedies.”
The county has raised the “Every Child Matters” flag for the month of September at the Lanark County Administration Building and plans are underway for a ceremony on September 30.
Councilors received an update from their Climate Action committee chaired by Perth Mayor John Fenik. He outlined their proposed work plan for up to the end of 2022. It includes target setting, gathering climate action ideas from local municipalities to be shared and creating the draft community climate action plan, which would involve public review leading to adoption and implementation.
Council passed a motion supporting a greenhouse gas emission reduction target to be 20 per cent, with a goal of achieving a greater amount. The county’s corporate plan is based on activities related to county offices, Lanark Lodge and fleet. The county is a member of the sustainably.eco program through Sustainable Kingston, which provides members with a full carbon footprint analysis and a climate action plan. A team reviews greenhouse gas emissions and calculates emission reductions using different strategies. County Council has been committed to climate change for a number of years and to date has already lowered emissions at county facilities by 15% through LED lighting retrofit for county administration and engineering buildings and installation of energy efficient windows.