May at Teedon Pit, commits to protecting ‘sacred water’
The Green Party’s Elizabeth May with AWARE Simcoe Chair Don Morgan on Darby Road in Waverley. -AWARE Simcoe photo
By Kate Harries AWARE News Network
Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May stopped at the gates of the Teedon Pit in Waverley today to express her commitment to the protection of the “sacred water” that is threatened by the continuing aggregate extraction.
As the crowd of around 60 who turned out to welcome her dodged gravel trucks wheeling in and out of the quarry, May spoke of the importance of the purest groundwater ever tested.
“This area is so fortunate to have this aquifer,” she said. “We should never allow it to be put at risk. I will stand with you, I will do whatever it takes with you to protect this aquifer.”
Harking back to tense times and close votes at council meetings 10 years ago, that ended with Simcoe County Council voting in August 2009 to stop Dump Site 41, she urged: “We need to never give up in persuading people – never write anyone off and just keep trying to educate people.”
She added in reference to what has been dubbed Site 42, “this one is just as winnable, just as important and we have to rally round to protect water.”
While noting that the matter is mostly under provincial and municipal jurisdiction, she stressed: “As the federal leader of the GPC I offer you my unqualified support.”
As water scarcity becomes a threat across the word, “we really need to do more to restore natural ecosystems,” she said, “because our lives depend on being able to access clean drinking water and our lives depend on restoring more of nature’s filtration systems.”
Green infrastructure – restoring wetlands, preserving strong agriculture, protection forests and planting trees – is high priority, she said. Affordable housing is essential – but provide it by developing areas already under asphalt, and cleaning up brownfields. “We can’t allow sprawl to take any more of our green spaces,” she said.
May told reporters that she feels that voters will turn to the Green Party in the coming election because there’s an increasing realization of the severity of the climate crisis.
“It’s no longer discussing a future threat that if we don’t change our ways we will experience climate change – we’re experiencing it,” she said.
“And it’s at the point right now of being on the precipice at the point of no return – which means we have to act now to ensure our children have a livable world.”