Cambridge councillors not sending letter to Feds on carbon tax

A motion was brought forward to Cambridge City Council on Tuesday urging councillors to send a letter to the federal government to cancel the carbon tax.

The motion was originally brought forward by Ward 8 Councillor Nicholas Ermeta during the council meeting on February 27. The motion also called for the letter to be sent to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and other cities in Ontario.

Ermeta said after the motion was introduced that residents in his ward expressed concerns with the tax and there are better alternatives.

“I think if we want people to change their habits environmentally… we need to give people viable alternatives,” Ermeta said. “We should be looking at more tax breaks and things like that to get them to switch their behaviour.”

Controversy arose during the meeting when council chair Corey Kimpson and city manager Dave Calder warned councillors that they would be in violation of their procedural bylaw. The bylaw, passed in May 2023, says that motions that fall under “non-jurisdictional” cannot be debated because it is outside the scope of enforcement by council.

“This is a motion that does fall within non-jurisdictional,” Danielle Morton, the city clerk for Cambridge said. “You can put the motion on the floor, but in terms of debating the merits of the motion and responsibilities that are within [the motion], I would encourage council not to get into a debate around that.”

Council would ultimately vote 4-3 against sending the letter, with councillors Ermeta, Cooper and Shwery voting in favour. Mayor Jan Liggett and Ward 2 Councillor Mike Devine were not in attendance at the meeting.

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