Latest News

Recording of advisory group meetings pushed

By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express

To record or not to record – that was the question posed at the latest Energy from Waste Advisory Committee (EFWAC) meeting.

Linda Gasser, committee member and representative of Zero Waste 4 Zero Burning, wants to see EFWAC meetings recorded, live-streamed and archived by the region.

She was puzzled why a motion, passed by regional council in February of this year making the same request, has not appeared before the committee, but was presented to the Energy From Waste – Waste Management Advisory Committee in April.

“The motion is not on our agenda and it should have been,” Gasser said. “There doesn’t seem to be a consistent approach [by staff].”

Mirka Januszkiewicz, director of waste management services for Durham Region, told Gasser there will be discussion on the topic between regional department heads and the CEO’s office this summer.

“It will be the decision of the CEO,” Januszkiewicz said.

Gasser said “people are interested” in what goes on at EFWAC but many individuals simply cannot make the meetings.

“I know two people who cannot attend due to health reasons. There are a million reasons why people cannot attend a meeting in person,” Gasser said.

Gasser said the recorded minutes for the meetings are “just a snapshot” of what is discussed.

“The minutes are not a transcript and they don’t capture everything at all,” she said.

Wendy Bracken, representative of Durham Environmental Watch, said the committee’s “sporadic schedule” makes it difficult for members of the public to attend as well.

Bracken said streaming and recording the meetings would fit in well with the committee’s mandate, especially in regards to the “region sharing information with the local community.”

Brad Brooks, committee member and superintendent of solid waste management for the Town of Whitby, said while he “didn’t have a problem either way” with of recording meetings, he cautioned that some “comments made here don’t shine a very good light on Covanta (the operators of the Durham York Energy Centre) and you just have to be careful what you say”.