• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

Everything you need to know before you vote

By
In Agriculture
May 27th, 2022
0 Comments
145 Views
Four major parties are vying to lead Ontario in the June 2 election. | CITYNEWS/Craig Wadman

From the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition
By Margaret Prophet

I often hear people say, “I’m not a political person.” I’m always baffled a little bit by that statement, though, because everything we have in our society is the result of a political decision. From healthcare, to roads, to transit or taxes – at some point they all come back to choices made on our behalf by those we elect to lead us. (Personally, I think people get confused between political vs. partisan.)

To build the communities we want, we need to be political, but we don’t have to get blindly partisan or buy into party dogma.

So, while people may feel they don’t need to engage in politics, the health of our democracy demands otherwise.

Without voting and political activity (engaging with politicians, signing petitions, organizing events or volunteering for local organizations) our democracy atrophies.

If you are someone who has shied away from partisan, divisive politics, know that you can avoid the frenzy, that you don’t have to commit to watching news stations 24/7 or become a party member, that you can still have a positive impact on political decisions.

The first step is to make your voice heard.

In this newsletter, we’ve set out some resources to help with this, to inform your vote and engage with those around you. We are very careful to make sure what we advocate for is evidence based and, to the extent it is evidenced based, non-partisan.

Challenge yourself to share these resources with people in your circles. Tell them that they can vote to protect and improve our climate, our neighbourhoods, and our health.

Watch Now – Local Debates for All Simcoe Ridings

We were happy to help coordinate virtual debates across Simcoe County.

From housing affordability to water protection and climate action – the debates ran the gamut of topics designed to get at the heart of plans to make our communities healthier and more prosperous.

Debate recordings have time stamps for each question, so you can navigate directly to those you want to hear the answers to.

Recordings:
Barrie–Innisfil
Barrie–Springwater–Oro-Medonte
Simcoe-Grey
Simcoe–North

York–Simcoe

Unfortunately, as has been the case in debates across the province, every single PC candidate claimed scheduling conflicts and did not attend.

You can help put pressure on candidates to participate in future public debates by liking and sharing this tweet, which highlights the lack of participation by the PCs in Simcoe County.

Where Parties Stand on the Environment

There are several groups that have questioned each party and how their platform would  benefits and protects nature. Here are some of the tops ones we think are worth diving into:

Green Prosperity has sent out a survey to all of the major parties.  You can read the results of that survey here.

Lake Simcoe Watch has also surveyed candidates on key measures needed to protect Lake Simcoe here.

Ontario Climate Emergency Coalition has outlined how well parties will commit to their climate action plan, which has been endorsed by over 125 environmental & climate action groups here.

CBC also has provided highlights of party platforms, as well as access to their full platform. You can read that here.

Another key issue is whether parties will build highways, which lead directly to more sprawl and seriously fragment wildlife habitat, in the Greenbelt. You can help highlight this issue by liking and sharing the tweet below.

Voter Information

Even if you didn’t get a voter registration card you are still eligible to vote.

Elections Ontario has put together resources like how to find your advanced poling station, voting day location, your riding and other frequently asked questions. Find it here.

Op-Eds / Local Voices

There have been some great local letters to the editor about the election and what it means to our region.

We’ve gathered some of them for you below.

Don’t forget to share or write your own letter to the paper. Elections are supposed to be about people talking about their issues, not just party politics.

PCs making a mockery of environmental rights

Top farmland is disappearing under concrete

On June 2, vote with climate change in mind: Sustainable Orillia

PC Candidates showing ‘extreme contempt’ for the public

Our next step…

Regardless of the outcome of the election, it is clear that in order to address climate change, stop sprawl and protect our water and farmland, we will need strong local leaders and engaged communities.

Municipal elections are this fall and we need to get busy to connect with voters, help educate candidates and engage youth.

Our goal is to raise $15,000 and thanks to Margaret Atwood, who’s chipped in to start us off, we are well on our way.

What we need from you is a one time or monthly donation to support this important work.

Donate directly to the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition

Donate & get charitable receipt

Regardless of the outcome on June 2, we cannot lose hope in each other and our ability to make change. While this election is important, so is our response to it.

Leave a Reply

Commenters must post under real names. AWARE Simcoe reserves the right to edit or not publish comments. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *