© Guardian photo by Heather Taweel
Charlottetown Councillor Mitchell Tweel wants to come up with a plan to address the prevalence of Waste Watch bins on city streets. During a recent meeting of council he referred to Charlottetown as a city of garbage cans, comments, which didn't sit well with Mayor Clifford Lee.
Lee takes exception to critical comments instead of dealing with valid issues raised
Charlottetown Coun. Mitchell Tweel made some strong but valid points in his criticism of the public eyesore presented by garbage bins throughout the city. What was surprising was Mayor Clifford Lee’s attack on Mr. Tweel in response to those comments.
Instead of addressing the issue raised, the mayor seemed intent on launching a personal attack on the Ward 4 councillor for bringing up the issue in the first place. Perhaps the mayor is extra sensitive as the inaugural tulip festival approaches this weekend and the royal visit to the city just ended on Tuesday where the city had its best appearance on display.
Mayor Lee is a longtime, fervent supporter of urban beautification initiatives, and the Communities in Bloom project has been a personal favourite of his for many years. So it’s understandable he is irate over suggestions the city is becoming known for weekly garbage bin exhibitions instead of the adopt a corner floral displays, Make Your Hometown Beautiful project, tulip plantings, hanging flower baskets, retro street signs and various other attractions.
A lot of time and money went into those projects and Coun. Tweel was too dismissive of their impact. He also managed to get in subtle criticism about the costs of Mayor Lee’s beautification projects. No wonder the mayor got his dander up, especially when Coun. Tweel said garbage bins are rendering all those projects useless.
While Coun. Tweel has a tendency to be hyperbolic and his statement that Charlottetown is turning into a city of garbage cans was a bit excessive, a demand from the mayor for a public apology is over the top as well. In fact, the garbage bins are an eyesore. There has to be a way to handle the issue in a more discreet fashion. Garbage day pickup should see the bins hauled to curbside that morning and hauled back out of sight as soon as they are dumped.
Maybe Island Waste Watch trucks will have to pull into back parking lots of large apartment and condo buildings to pick up garbage instead of having 24 bins strewn up and down the street. It’s embarrassing when cruise ship passengers wander around city streets on garbage pickup day and all they see are malodorous black and green bins stuffed to overflowing.
Coun. Tweel did offer a constructive suggestion during a council meeting. He said council should meet with Island Waste Management Corporation and develop a pilot project to work with property owners to help relocate the waste and compost bins to the backs of homes and apartment buildings where they would be subtle and discreet, and hauled out only on garbage day.
It’s a good start.
Parents take heed
For whatever reason, some parents are not taking the advice of the province’s chief health officer to get their children vaccinated against whooping cough. An outbreak, the first in the province in 10 years, was detected in early February, with most cases in the western part of the province. Whooping cough poses a serious risk to babies and is a vaccine preventable disease.
The outbreak started with six confirmed cases in February and there are now 24 in May. Four babies have been hospitalized. This wouldn’t be necessary if parents had their babies vaccinated at birth and given their booster shots. Officials say several of those babies afflicted were not immunized but should have been. Adults who are around babies should also be vaccinated.
Immunization is a critical form of preventative health care. Why do some parents put their children at risk until they get infected?