by Tristan Turner
Morinville News Correspondent

Administration will develop a cloth diaper rebate policy proposal set at a maximum payout of $1,000 following a motion from Councillor Brennan FitzGerald. The motion was made at council’s July 11 meeting, after a presentation from Morinville mother Jill Ladouceur was made at Council’s last Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting on June 20.

At COW, Ladouceur claimed that the Town could divert 3,800 diapers from their landfills for each child clad in cloth per year. Over the life of a child, that represents many pounds of diverted waste, offering savings to the Town who would have otherwise must process the trash for the Town.

For families sceptical of the concept, Ladouceur was quick to argue the advantages of using reusable cloth diapers from her perspective as a mother of five children. Disposable diapers cost approximately $1,000 a year for one child, whereas 24 cloth diapers (enough for one child) costs $500 and is reusable over the years between multiple children. Further, she argued that cloth diapers have been shown to reduce the age of successful potty training and reduce rashes. She also added that there are many ways to approach cloth diapering that is completely hygienic, and there are many online supports for parents new to cloth diapers.

That evening, Ladouceur argued that a rebate limit of $100 per child would be a fair figure. If this cap per person is maintained, and the $1,000 total budget implemented, the program could only have ten residents participate in the program, though FitzGerald’s motion was only to get the administration to prepare a proposed policy, so no figure was given by FitzGerald at Council.

The motion passed unanimously with only clarifying questions on the motion from Council. The proposal is expected to come back to council for consideration when Council reconvenes in August.

Comments

comments

5 COMMENTS

  1. Is this real? It must be April 1st.

    The economics as presented here show a substantial savings by using cloth diapers. Is that not enough of an incentive?

    The Council thinks not and wants to use tax dollars to give a rebate?

    When Councillor Dafoe called this the silly season … he hit the nail right on the head.

  2. As someone who experimented with cloth diapers in the past, I disagree with the contention that there is a reduction in diaper rash because the moisture is constantly in contact with the skin.

    I also think Lloyd is right about the cost savings being a good enough incentive to using cloth.

    Waste of administration time doing research on proposals that would benefit so few!

  3. As a resident, and a mother who used cloth diapers, I am appalled that we’re considering a rebate program for cloth diapers. Moreover, I’m astounded that Council feels it is a good use of Administration’s time to write up a draft policy on this matter.

    Rebate programs are not necessarily bad, but niche rebate programs are not equitable and should be avoided. Toilet rebate, energy rebate, water saving kit rebate, LED light bulb rebates, water barrel rebates – these all make sense because they are applicable to a very large cross-section of the population and are therefore equitable. It is a rather smaller percentage of the population who uses cloth diapers, and at a $1000 budget limit for the program, the number of people in this community who will actually benefit from the program does not outweigh the costs that will be incurred to write up a policy, debate it, revise, implement and administer it. This is not a good use of tax payers’ money.

    If a rebate program for choosing cloth diapers is a good idea, then by extension we should expect Council to be open to offering rebates for other ‘environmentally friendly/waste/cost reduction’ choices, such as using cloth shopping bags instead of plastic,using paper plates and wooden utensils instead of plastic, converting resource-intensive lawn into productive garden space, buying organic (food, clothing, feminine hygiene products), riding a bike instead of driving….(Riding a bike instead of driving has been shown to significantly reduce transportation costs and over the years reduce the risk of disease, not to mention reduce air pollution and lower one’s ecological footprint – very strong arguments in support of a rebate program. At least as strong as those used to support the cloth diaper rebate program).

    I am in support of rebate programs that help improve the community/environment as a whole, as long as those programs benefit the larger proportion of the community as possible for the dollars spent developing and administering the programs.

  4. Got to agree with all of the foregoing comments; but with one “add-on”:

    Will Administration’s “policy” also cover Seniors?

    If it does, I might (with considerable emphasis on the word “might”0 be able to go along with the idea.

    Y’all have a fine day now, y’hear?

    Yep – election time is almost upon us!

  5. Shelly – you bring joy to my heart. Thank you for a reasoned argument and information.

    What Brennan asked for really is an overview of how such a program might work more so than a policy, which is a cumbersome affair, as you say.

    Lloyd, Joe and my friend Jimmy O’Brien.

    Colleague asked for a report on how such a rebate program might work with a budget of $1000.

    I supported that information coming back so I can have something to vote for or against should an actual motion arise.

    Already heard from one resident on how his family never got a rebate on cloth diapers and they raised two kids with them. I’ll present that resident’s viewpoint if it ever comes to a motion and a debate.

    The motion wasn’t to spend $1000 on a cloth diaper rebate. It was to get info on what such a program might look like with a budget of that much.

    I’ll always support a Councillor’s information request if I feel the request is sincere and the work Administration has to do is not too heavy.

    Might add – past Councils gave away organics buckets, water kits, and for a few years we’ve done a low flush toilet rebate. People snapped that stuff up with little-to-no fuss. No one said the water savings for the toilet was reward enough.

    I personally think spending $1000 on Facebook advertising educating about cloth diapers would be more effective than a $100 rebate to 10 people, and you know what – Administration – may just bring that back as one of the ways you could accomplish the same thing.

    I also personally think a grand on educating about cloth diapers is a better use of money than the endless pins Council used to buy and toss around by the bag or hats, mugs, and water bottles no one ever uses – but that’s me.

    Guess we’ll find out what we might do to raise awareness of the environmental benefits of washing diapers like my folks did when the report comes back and someone makes an actual motion to do something or not do something.

    And specifically to my good buddy Jim O’Brien – yes, election time is almost upon us.

    Cannot wait for it because I’ve come to the conclusion that there is far more shit to deal with in trying to serve the public than in all of the cloth diapers under current and future consideration.

    Hope Lloyd and Joe and you jump back in the game – love to follow you all on social media to see how you are liking being wrong all the time.

    Have a wonderful day and keep your leather hat on partner. Looking forward to dinner next weekend.

    And as to whether Brennan’s policy will cover seniors? Depends!

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