Ben Mason (left) and Lister de Vitré will be speaking more with Cumberland about a Green New Deal. Record file photo

Cumberland to talk Green New Deal with youth

De Vitré and Mason started pitching their proposal in community in late 2020

  • Feb. 10, 2021 12:00 a.m.

Cumberland is taking a next step toward a Green New Deal by sitting down with a couple of its young proponents.

At a committee meeting late last month, two young men, Lister de Vitré and Ben Mason, gave a presentation to council, asking them to consider ways in incorporate Green New Deal ideas into the ways the village puts together plans and conducts business.

Now, council has passed a motion to support the deal in principle as well as set up meetings with the pair to discuss priorities and how to bring these into alignment with council’s strategic priorities over the next couple of years.

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Mayor Leslie Baird and Coun. Jesse Ketler will sit on a committee with de Vitré and Mason, while Coun. Vickey Brown will serve as alternate. Rather than simply incorporating the ideas, council wanted the two young men to be involved.

“I thought it was important to include them in that process,” Baird said at the Feb. 8 council meeting.

The Green New Deal concept incorporates new methods of economic growth, social responsibility and environmental sustainability. De Vitré is a Vanier grad, while Mason is a Vanier Grade 12 student. Both are from Cumberland and started putting together a presentation in late 2020, first talking to a local Rotary Club and the Cumberland Community School parent advisory before appearing in front of council. Their hope is to make Cumberland known as a ‘Green New Deal’ community.

The two made an impact on council during their appearance last month. During the discussion at the most recent council meeting, Brown called the pair “two amazing young men,” while other members of council spoke of their level of engagement and about the importance of having the support of young people in setting strategic priorities.

Coun. Gwyn Sproule added, “I was so impressed. I’ve know both of these young men for a long time.”

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