Largest climate march in history gets tripped by city Clerk rules - utter nonsense.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

September 20, 2014



It was a small group of people – not much more than a cluster actually, but it was part of the largest climate march in history involving more than 2500 cities around the world and will culminate in a march on New York city, where people will peacefully flood the streets in historic numbers, both in New York City and in solidarity events around the world.

World leaders will be gathered in NYC for a landmark U.N. climate meeting — just the right moment for big public pressure. UN Secretary, General Ban Ki-moon is urging governments to support an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming pollution.

Save the planet - crowd scene outside Cultures

These Save the Planet marchers met with Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring on a street corner; they were not allowed to set foot on city property because the mayor is in election mode. Can you believe that?

“With our future on the line and the whole world watching, we’ll take a stand to bend the course of history. We’ll take to the streets to demand the world we know is within our reach: a world with an economy that works for people and the planet; a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities” announced the march organizers.

The event is billed as the largest climate march in history to be happening worldwide and Burlington was a part of it.

The Burlington event was marred just a little by what can only be called “bureaucratic nonsense”. The March was planned as an event that was to start and end at the gazebo in Spencer Smith Park, where the Mayor was to speak.

Mayor Rick Goldring is a serious environmentalist and it was an appropriate place for him to speak. But – Burlington is in the middle of its election for a new council and the Mayor now has two people running against him – and he can’t make use of any city owned facility. And the Gazebo in Spencer Smith Park is city property – so the event had to march up Brant street and pause on a street corner, where Goldring talked to people about the environment.

Save the Planet - Goldring + organizer

Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring stands on a street corner explaining his environmental views to Save the Planet march organizer Alanna Antrobus.

“Can we go to city hall” asked one participant. “No “said the Mayor, “Civic Square is out of bounds as well”.

To get some idea as to just how silly this became; earlier in the week Ward two councillor Marianne Meed Ward rented space at the Art Gallery of Burlington for her campaign kick off. She was told that her people could not walk the corridors of the building wearing buttons or T-shirts – which meant anyone wanting to go to the bathroom, had to take their T-shirt off.

Ian Ross, president of the Art Gallery apparently got a call from City Clerk Angela Morgan bringing him up to date on the rules as she saw them. Hopefully Ross brought the Clerk up to date on how he runs his shop.

One hopes that Ross explained to the city Clerk that the Art Gallery of Burlington was an arm’s length organization which ran its own affairs. The city does own the property – the Art Gallery runs the place.

The Burlington march was organized by Alanna Antrobus


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3 comments to Largest climate march in history gets tripped by city Clerk rules – utter nonsense.

  • Maggie

    Is Aldershot arena not also owned by the city. Just looked up Katherine Henshalls kick of for her campaign and she had it there.

  • Maggie

    Good grief how petty. I could understand if the Mayor was making a campaign speech but this was about the environment. Presumably this speech was set up long before he had any competition. How safe was that street corner, and isn’t it city property.

  • Ward 2 Resident

    Mr. Parr I follow your publication from time to time and have never commented but I felt a need to ask if you are reporting that Marianne Meed Ward, the Integrity and Transparency Candidate, broke an Election Campaign rule outright and knowingly? It would seem to me that you have, is that not the real story here?

    Editor’s note: Actually Meed Ward didn’t break any rules. She rented the space the the way anyone else rents the space. We are not touting Meed Ward and we don’t share the view of many that she would be a great Mayor – she might grow to become a good Mayor. But in this instance she rented the space at the AGB. Let’s put an end to the cheap shots on this issue. The city needs to take another look at the rules it puts in place.