Make the essentials of life sacrosanct
The following are the comments I submitted to the Ontario government on its 2015 Provincial Co-ordinated Review:
There are four essential elements to supporting life in Ontario and the world:
– Clean air
– Clean water
– Healthy food
– Adequate housing
The other elements necessary to the wellbeing of our citizens are:
– Social bonds and community
– Health care and healthy lifestyles
The Earth’s resources are finite and renewable resources only renew at limited rates. It is obvious that the human population cannot keep growing forever.
To live indefinitely on the planet humanity must live within the Earth’s carrying capacity. To live lives in prosperity indefinitely our consumption of resources must be limited to the carrying capacity of the land. Locally that means Ontario.
All legislation must be harmonized to move our society toward true sustainability that will allow all citizens to prosper. This can only be done if our population is stable. So the Province must first determine what level of population is able to live and prosper in Ontario for generations to come.
Once the Province has determined what level of population can be sustained in Ontario, especially southern Ontario, then all Ontario legislation should be harmonized to achieve the overarching principle of making the essentials of life sacrosanct.
Ontario must be governed by legislation that absolutely protects our air, water, food land and natural resources. Allowing private interests to squander our essential-to-life resources will spell disaster for future generations.
I believe Places To Grow, the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Plan and the Niagara Escarpment Plan are all attempts to address the issues of the protection of clean air, clean water, sufficient agricultural land and, to a lesser degree, housing.
These four Plans and all related Plans (Lake Simcoe Protection Plan, Source Water Protection, etc.) and related legislation must all work to coordinate our human activities toward society collectively living within our ecological means – the carrying capacity of the land.
In addition to harmonizing legislation all Provincial ministries must be brought out of their silos and also harmonized to work together to build a sustainable society.
Ontario can lead the way to a sustainable society but there will be heavy push back from private interests concerned only with profits. It will take considerable political will to do move forward. I believe this Co-ordinated Review is the first step. Please have the will to continue.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment.