Oxford Warden David Mayberry and CAO Peter Crockett focused on sustainability during their days at the combined Ontario Good Roads Association/Rural Ontario Municipal Association conference in Toronto earlier this week.
Mayberry was pleased with the whole affair, noting there were threemain meetings out of 13 that were critical to the county and its sustainability plan. One of those was with the Ministry of Agriculture to ask for funding for the county's Future Oxford program. "They told us that we need to talk to some of the regional people,"Mayberry said. "Fortunately, I know all three of them, so we'll set that meeting up in the not too distant future."
Mayberry later met with the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, which invited several municipalities to share their perspectives on the proposed Waste Free Ontario Act.
"It was more of a general discussion on what do we need to do to reduce ourwaste and the challenges with the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors," he said. "Also,what canwe do in small pilot projects.
"That was one of the things the minister actually invited us to be creative and come up with some pilot projects that they might be interested in funding."
Mayberry said Oxford's Zero Waste group will be taking that as a lead to "see what we can do" and work toward something in that vein.
"With the Ministry of Energy" - the third important meetingMayberry attended - "it was more of an update on where we are on 100 per cent renewable and to continue a discussion, More to keep the lines of communication open."
The Ministry of the Energy, Mayberry added, is looking for willing partners, incluing Oxford County.
"They were also looking for other pilot projects," he said. "What kind of things can we do that would support their work on reducing their energy consumption?" The county plans to invite Ministry of the Environment officials to Oxford County, Mayberry said, so they can see what Oxford is doing and explore opportunities for further partnership.
Mayberry added the meetings were great for moving many of Oxford's plans in sustainability forward.
"I wouldn't say there was any one thing finished, but certainly there were a number of things where we said, 'oh good, we took one more step on the path on a number of things,'" he said. "Overall, I felt quite good about the delegations that the county did."
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