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Two city councillors push to pink-slip all the little engines

Meanwhile, two other councillors want to talk to you about trees in Sault Ste. Marie
Lawn mower
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Two sustainability-related resolutions have been placed on the agenda of Monday's City Council by ward councillors.

One, drafted by Ward 3's Matthew Shoemaker and his Ward 1 counterpart Paul Christian, calls for gradual replacement of all public works gasoline-powered ride-on lawn mowers, push mowers, grass trimmers and other machinery, with more-sustainable electric motor technology.

The other, from Ward 5 Coun. Corey Gardi and Ward 3's Donna Hilsinger, is about trees in Sault Ste. Marie.

The full text of both resolutions follow.

Monday's City Council meeting will be livestreamed on SooToday starting at 4:30 p.m.

Multi-year replacement plan – small engine machinery

Mover: Coun. M. Shoemaker
Seconder: Coun. P. Christian

Whereas the City of Sault Ste. Marie has pledged to use resources wisely to maintain and create a sustainable city for future generation; and

Whereas the Community Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan: 2020-2030 recommends supporting electrification opportunities; and

Whereas in December 2021, council was presented with a multi-year replacement plan for ice resurfacers (commonly known as Zambonis) which is seeking to electrify all Zambonis in the City of Sault Ste. Marie’s fleet; and

Whereas public works uses a substantial number of small engine machinery, including, but not limited to, ride-on lawn mowers, push lawn mowers and weed eaters;

Now therefore be it resolved that staff be requested to report to council on the feasibility of replacing any small engine equipment with electric small engine equipment as the existing equipment reaches the end of its useful life.

Two Billion Trees

Mover: Coun. C. Gardi
Seconder: Coun. D. Hilsinger

Whereas trees capture carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help in the fight against climate change; and

Whereas enhancing biodiversity and forest resilience to climate change can be accomplished by planting the right tree species in the right places and restoring wildlife habitat; and

Whereas the planting of trees creates more green spaces for recreational activities and sanctuaries for connecting with nature; better regulation of temperatures in cities; improved mental well-being and reduced risk of wildland fire and floods to our communities; and

Whereas the federal government through Natural Resources Development Canada has established a program to plant two billion trees over the next several years, to capitalize on the foregoing benefits; and

Whereas eligible applicants are able to apply to more than one funding stream under the program, municipalities being an eligible applicant;

Now therefore be it resolved that city staff be requested to develop a plan and/or utilize an existing plan to apply to the Two Billion Tree program’s second call for proposals in an effort to plant appropriate tree species to add to our urban tree canopy.

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David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans seven decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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