Climate Blog: Windsor Ward 7 by-election candidates share their views on climate change in Cities and Climate Action Forum survey

(1 October 2020) by Klaudia Grabkowska, Narmada Gunawardana, Katie Pfaff and Valerie Tan

The City of Windsor’s Ward 7 by-election is scheduled for Monday October 5th, 2020 and twelve candidates have their names on the ballot, hoping to fill the currently vacant city council seat.  

As C-40 Cities, a network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change, states, “ending climate change begins in the city“. But there has been limited discussion of climate change and the City of Windsor’s efforts during the by-election campaign.

Image credit: Shutterstock

In an effort to encourage more conversation on this issue during the last days of the campaign, as students in the Windsor Law Cities and Climate Action Forum (CCAF) policy clinic under the supervision of Dr. Anneke Smit, we created a survey with standardized questions for all Ward 7 candidates on their positions on climate change.  

Out of the twelve candidates, six responses were received, from Igor Dzaic, Farah El-Hajj, Michelle Gajewski, Jeewen Gill, Angelo Marignani and Therese Papineau. 

The responses from each candidate are linked below. We thank all the candidates who took the time to reply.

Ward 7 – Igor Dzaic

Ward 7 – Farah El-Hajj

Ward 7 – Michelle Gajewski

Ward 7 – Jeewen Gill

Ward 7 – Angelo Marignani

Ward 7 – Therese Papineau

The questions posed to each candidate were as follows:  

  1. In 2017 the City of Windsor passed its Community Energy Plan committing to a 40% reduction in 2014 emission levels by 2041.  In November 2019 it passed unanimously the Climate Change Emergency Declaration and in May 2020 the report on Acceleration of Climate Change Actions in response to the Climate Change Emergency (see page 503 at link), was passed unanimously by Windsor City Council.  Which, if any, of these documents have you read?   
  1. How do you intend to ensure the City’s effort remains on climate mitigation in addition to climate change adaptation? For example, although continuing to address the flooding in Ward 7 would be a beneficial climate change adaptation response, how will you work to ensure the City also takes sufficient measures to reduce emissions, and in a way that benefits all residents? 
  1. If you are elected as Councillor for Ward 7, where will the necessity for climate mitigation action rank in your priorities when it comes to the City’s budget decisions?  What is your position on allocating funds in the 2021 and future budgets to address climate mitigation (i.e. reduction of emissions) in Windsor-Essex?  
  1. What do you think about the idea of a carbon budget for the City of Windsor? 
  1. Urban sprawl has been called “Ontario’s oil sands”.  If elected, how would you ensure that the City of Windsor makes climate-friendly urban planning decisions?  
  1. What are your ideas on how the City of Windsor can work with the County of Essex, surrounding municipalities and the City of Detroit in order to actualize climate mitigation action? 
  1. Climate action is a priority for many youth voters.  Why should young voters come out and vote for you? 

Further voting information on the Ward 7 by-election can be found on the City of Windsor’s website. 

The mandate of CCAF is to work with youth, other community builders, and municipal governments and politicians across Canada to support collaborative and meaningful local climate mitigation action. 

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