Geraldine Copps : Lifetime Achievement Award – 1999

Hamilton councillor Geraldine Copps is being recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Meritorious Service to the Community in the Protection of the Environment.

Geri clearly understands the importance of a clean environment to the health of the community, but she has defended it not simply because she is an ‘environmentalist’ but because this is an integral part of the public interest. For her, fighting to cleanup the sewage treatment plant and Hamilton’s notorious air pollution, protecting natural areas like the Red Hill Valley, and opposing more urban sprawl; go hand-in-hand with her work for the disabled and others who most need champions at City Hall.

She has consistently opposed the conversion of Hamilton into the garbage centre of southern Ontario. Ignoring the ridicule of some of her opponents, Geri is an outspoken defender of due process and the precautionary approach when considering environmental issues. Her nominees have noted her unwavering position that the environment and human safety hold a paramount position. When leaking landfills, sewage spills, incinerator emissions and industrial pollution bring citizens together in anger and protest, the one councillor that is always there to help is Geraline Copps. Unlike other elected officials, she attends the ‘hot’ public meetings and also stands up in council to articulate the environmental concerns of citizens.

Geri as Citizenship Judge.

Geri’s is often a lonely stuggle, rarely on the winning side in council decisions, but always principled and in defense of protecting and improving all aspects of Hamilton’s environment – natural, social and economic.