The city is building Green Buildings on shaky ground, and trying to fool everyone with a fog of green smoke surrounded by gold mirrors. Silver isn’t good enough, our council wants Cambridge to be the greenest city in Canada.
We already have the “greenest” city hall in Canada, and as of March 5 all new municipal buildings must be certified “gold” under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards. Taxpayers will pay higher costs for meeting the gold requirements on new city buildings over 5,400 square feet. Earning the gold rating can raise construction costs by as much as 10 per cent, compared to seven per cent for silver.
Staff recommended silver be the minimum standard until Councillors opted to “go for gold” by a vote of 6-2. Karl Kiefer and Ben Tucci, supported the minimum silver target for new buildings.
As council debates green smoke and expensive mirrors to fool the rest of the world, Cambridge residents know the truth. The city is replete with pockets of contaminated soil, and the groundwater is in danger from the aging pipeline that runs through the area, but titles are more important than actually doing something.
Although the city claims it doesn’t have a comprehensive list of “Brownfields” you don’t have to look far in any area of the city to find one.
In fact, right by the “greenest” city hall in Canada is one of the most contaminated sites in the city. Go to the City Hall Parking Lot on Wellington St. and you can see a large empty lot across Mill Creek on Shade St, the site of the former Malibu Iron Foundry.
Prime Real Estate, the soil is too contaminated to entice a developer to pay the cost of soil reclamation. For years, many factories were in the habit of dumping waste chemicals anywhere and everywhere that was convenient with no forethought for the environment. . Similar lots can be seen throughout the city.
In between the Riverbank Restaurant and the Waterscape Condos. The former Mandell’s at Bruce and Ainslie. The former 7/11 on King St. in Preston. Silknit/Dominion Woolens. Joy Manufacturing. Kanmet. Challenger Motor Freight.. The list goes on, I’m sure Citizen Readers could fill this page.
And of course, there is the Enbridge Oil Line that runs right outside town. Mayor Craig refuses to acknowledge the potential problem, and is seem not at all concerned that the “Emergency Plan” Enbridge has on file here is over a decade old.
Like the ceremonial title of “Groundwater Guardian of Waterloo Region” this gold standard is nothing but another expensive bauble in Mayor Craig’s Crown. Instead of seeking pretentious titles for non-existent buildings if council wants to do something for the environment with our tax dollars use it to fix the problems we already have.Tags: Ben Tucci, canada, City Hall