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By Trevor Greenway

Wakefield councillor Claude Giroux had no trouble finding quality candidates for his La Pêche commission for action on climate change.

A total of 12 engaged citizens applied to sit on the commission, and Giroux said he had difficulty whittling the list down to seven. He said everyone who applied was overqualified for the role.

“In my entire career, I’ve interviewed a lot of people, but this time I was floored by the quality of the people who showed up,” Giroux told the Low Down.

“We have engineers; we have people who have done this for a career; we have a former assistant deputy minister who worked for [the department] of foreign affairs and [environment] was part of her mandate. It was almost like flipping a coin at the end. The difference was one to two points,” he explained about the process to choose committee members.

In the end, the seven members chosen were: Louise Mailloux, Isabelle Bérard, Clara Kayser-Brill, Louis Molgat, Dominique Blain, Miriam Ponette and Ryan Katz-Rosene. Following the group’s first meet-and-greet in late August, the commission will get to work on recommendations that aim to make the municipality even greener in its policies, future developments and other initiatives.

“The municipality is already doing a lot of stuff from an environmental point of view. You look at the new city hall, which will be zero footprint and the green fund,” said Giroux, referring to the $9.1 million new city hall building to be built at 99-101 route Principale Est. The eco-friendly building will meet Passivhaus standards – a specific design and building process with ultra-low energy costs.

La Pêche also implemented a municipal-wide composting program this year as part of its move towards a more green region. Giroux said the Environment Commission will take things further by giving the municipality recommendations on everything from sustainable development and light pollution in the Hills to more broad provincial and federal regulations.

“The commission will be able to bring everything together and look at best practices elsewhere, but all within the framework of municipal responsibility,” said Giroux, adding, “but we will go beyond that.”

He explained that the framework of the commission won’t be limited to just municipal duties, but also initiatives that need to be pursued by other levels of government and individuals.

The La Pêche Environment Commission members will be made public later in August. The commission is a one-year contract with the potential for a renewal.

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