Excuse me, will there be a mid-term exam? How many of us remember asking or hearing that question in school? I know I did, and though my school days may be over, mid-terms remain part of my life.
We're halfway through the current term of City Council, and with that milestone comes a standard "Mid-term Governance Review." It's a way to take stock of how we do things at City Hall, and a chance for us to consider how our processes or approaches might be improved.
Among the dozens of elements reviewed recently, I proposed changes in a couple of areas related to the mandates of the City's standing committees. First, I was able to add to the Environment Committee's mandate responsibility for "preserving/promoting biodiversity and protecting/coexisting with urban wildlife, particularly with respect to matters that are not specifically within the mandates of other Standing Committees."
What this comes down to is that preserving and promoting biodiversity as a policy goal is not specifically named as part of any committee's mandate. Some committees, such as Planning or Transportation, deal with some specific, related issues, but not as an overarching objective. That loophole has now been closed.