THUNDER BAY – Council met at City Hall tonight with the meeting getting underway at 18:35EDT. The first presentation, from students at Ogden Community School was on Fair Trade.
Fair Trade City
Council heard a presentation from Ogden Community School. The students were seeking that Thunder Bay become a Fair Trade City.
The two students are seeking that workers around the world be treated with dignity and stated that by becoming a Fair Trade City, Council that support would come forward from that.
Mayor Hobbs asked the students where they learned about Fair Trade and the students responded that they became aware of the need after the collapse of the clothing factory in Bangledesh.
Councillor Bentz congratulated the two students representing the school on their brevity, and consiese presentation. Asking what other cities are already involved, Council was informed that Toronto, Vancouver are already onboard.
Councillor Johnson asked the students if they were aware of the city’s food study that is underway. The deputation was asked if they had talked to the city procurement officer about the purchasing of Fair Trade items.
The students had done so, and were seeking support for the idea from Council. Johnson asked if the students wanted a further role in the project.
Councillor McKinnon asked if the Ogden Community School has implemented a Fair Trade policy. The school has already adopted the practice.
McKinnon asked what Council would have do to if this were passed tonight. Council was told they would need a communications strategy for the project.
Councillor Pugh wanted to know if the students had studied other issues, other than Bangledesh in coming up with the idea. Councillors were told that issues in Africa and other countries impacted their decisions.
Pugh asked if Fair Trade Products were available in Thunder Bay. The students informed Council that there are a wide number of local and national chains offering Fair Trade coffee.
Councillor Rydholm congratulated the students for their presentation and commented that her church has used Fair Trade products, and that there is a higher cost to them. She wanted to know what the youth thought about the potential higher cost to taxpayers.
The students stated that they have been gaining positive response.
Councillor Ruberto told the Ogden Community School that “You are on the right track, and to take this to the Lakehead School Board and Lakehead Catholic School Board.
Councillor Virdiramo commented it is a great cause but wanted to know how the money spent on Fair Trade products would make it in to areas it is needed to help. The Councillor was told there are safeguards in place.
Councillor Virdiramo asked the two youth “When are you planning to run for City Council and do you live in Westfort.
Administration told Council that moving to a Fair Trade policy would be an welcomed addition to the current planning for the Food Strategy Committee.
Councillor Johnson suggested that the new Food Strategy Committee chair be tasked with this responsibility.
Councillor Virdiramo sought that Administration be tasked with reporting to Council on this proposal. Virdiramo moved that a report be prepared by Administration on this issue.
The motion was seconded by five Councillors.
Councillor Foulds asked what is currently being done in Thunder Bay with current ethical polices already passed by Council.
The motion passed with no votes in opposition.