June 26, 2006

Local politicians honoured for sustainable development efforts

TORONTO, ONT-Two winners have been named for the 2005 EcoCouncillor Award, an honour established in 2004 by the Gallon Environment Letter to recognize an elected council member who has performed outstanding environmental and sustainable development service in a neighbourhood, municipality, or First Nation. The two winners are Welland, Ontario city councillor David Alexander and Denise Savoie, who was a municipal councillor in Victoria, BC before winning a seat in the House of Commons in the 2006 federal election. Since his election to Welland city council in 2003 on a green community platform, Alexander has focused on environmental initiatives such as: a conservation-based program to convert 12,000 homes to metered water from a flat rate system; an anti-idling motion for municipal government vehicles, which introduced the concept of anti-idling districts that require collaboration among other local institutions; and a municipal policy which will make every current and future development in Welland subject to the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program. In 2004 Alexander was elected to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) board of directors. As a councillor in Victoria, Denise Savoie headed the Capital Regional District's Regional Roundtable on the Environment. The award was presented to Alexander in Vancouver on June 19, during the World Urban Forum. Savoie was unable to attend the Forum and will receive her award at a ceremony in Ottawa this November. The outstanding environmental service for which the EcoCouncillor Award is presented is to be connected to the recipient's role as an elected politician and may be in the form of excellence in environmental policy, program or projects. The objective of the award is to encourage environmental excellence and to give recognition for environment and sustainable development efforts among municipal politicians. More information is available from Colin Isaacs, Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment, 416/410-0432, Web site www.cialgroup.com/whatsnew.htm.

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