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Councillor wants Kingston to establish Ontario’s first natural cemetery

A Kingston councillor has tabled a motion that could see Kingston receive one of Ontario’s first stand-alone natural burial sites. 

The motion, moved by Councillor Rob Hutchison and seconded by Councillor Osanic, directs staff to review best practices from other municipalities and incorporate them into the city of Kingston. “Kingston strives to realize the vision of being Canada’s most sustainable city and that green natural burial is in line with this vision,” wrote the councillors. 

The motion seeks to incorporate several tenets. These tenets include “no embalming, no vault, the body is to be buried in a biodegradable casket or shrouds, leaving the above ground area with minimal environmental impact and also restoring natural habitats. 

The motion has come following a concerted push by green burial advocates to establish stand-alone and hybrid natural burial cemeteries in Kingston and in the municipalities across Ontario. 

“There’s a team of advocates in Kingston working hard to bring a natural burial ground to the area,” writes the Natural Burial Association. “They are pursuing both a hybrid and a standalone natural burial ground,” added the association. 

Currently, the only stand-alone natural burial cemeteries are located in British Columbia, both of which are located on the Gulf-Islands. There are several hybrid cemeteries located in Ontario, including one in Picton and in Niagara Falls.  

According to the motion presented to council, staff will be required to report back with their findings in Q4 of 2021. 

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