County urged to support Blue Dot
By Chad Ingram
The following are brief reports of items discussed during an Oct. 28 meeting of Haliburton County council.
Members of Environment Haliburton asked county council to sign a petition supporting the Blue Dot movement, a campaign by the David Suzuki Foundation advocating that the right to a clean environment be added to Canada’s constitution.
Many developed countries already have the right to clean air, drinking water, healthy food and access to nature guaranteed in their constitutions.
“A constitutional amendment is not easy to come by,” said Environment Haliburton’s Heather Ross, referencing the Meech Lake and Charlottetown accords.
Since the local launch of the campaign in the spring, Environment Haliburton has collected some 1,200 signatures.
“Most people said, well, that’s a no-brainer, as they signed,” Ross said.
She noted that about 200 signatures came from students at Haliburton Highlands Secondary School, representing about half the school’s population.
Councillors were going to take the request back to their respective lower-tier councils which have also been asked to support the movement.
“I think some of the councillors want to talk to their councils about it,” said Dysart et al Reeve and County Warden Murray Fearrey. “We don’t want to commit them here when maybe it isn’t their wish.”
Destination guide changes
Instead of the destination guide booklet it has produced for several years, the county will publish a map in 2016.
Council made that decision following a recommendation from the county’s tourism advisory committee.
Tourism director Amanda Virtanen told councillors that the most common request in the tourism info office is for maps and places to eat, not a 48-page booklet and noted the Hike Haliburton map was very popular.
Algonquin Highlands Deputy-reeve Liz Danielsen wasn’t sure council was making the right decision.
“A big map is an awkward thing to deal with,” Danielsen said. “I’m not sure it’s the best decision for us to make.”
Algonquin Highlands Reeve Carol Moffatt said if the map didn’t prove successful, the county could go back to the guide next year.
Choosing from a list of options, councillors voted to call the map Explore #MyHaliburtonHighlands.