TVO’s Agenda, Bradford Bypass Town Hall, and more!
From the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition
In this edition:
- Bradford Bypass Information Town Halls
- SCGC and Lake Simcoe on TVO’s The Agenda
- Turn up the heat on local MPPs
- Webinar recordings on housing and farmland.
- The Whale Substack
Warm weather is here. The last day of school beckons, vacation plans take shape, living spaces expand onto decks and into backyards. Smells of BBQ waft through the air and sounds of children playing fill streets.
For the entirety of our lives we’ve looked forward to warmer weather because it often means taking a bit more time with those we care about, friends and family, as well as enjoying more of what life has to offer outside of the daily grind. Trips to interesting places, new experiences, or simply experiences that make us feel good.
With the onset of climate change, however, summer, for many, means fire and drought. The comforts of summer warmth are increasingly being replaced by life and death battles fought on front lines of the climate crisis.
In Alberta and on the east coast wildfires threaten communities. New research indicates that increasing heat is already a factor in human migration. El Niño, which we are likely to see again this year, is projected to have major impacts, including economic costs, potentially amounting to as much as $3.4 trillion globally over the next five years.
All this to say that climate change is real, climate change is here, and climate change is going to require increasingly heavy lifting and difficult choices.
Amazingly, many governments seem intent on putting their head in the sand. In Alberta – yes, the same Alberta struggling with wildfires for which climate change is, at least, partially responsible – the newly elected government determined that opposing federal climate legislation was high enough on its priority list to mention in its election night victory speech.
Here in Ontario the government is planning new gas-fired power plants, which would be the biggest increase in fossil-fuel powered electricity supply in decades. The government justifies this expansion citing a projected increase in demand for electricity. Ironically, much of this increased demand is due to electric vehicles, a much vaunted (and not at all realistic) solution to climate change. (This is the same government that has never seen a new road or highway it doesn’t like).
As governments ignore, bumble, obstruct on climate change and the threats it brings to citizens, the role of non-profits, such our ours, becomes one of filling the areas governments leave neglected, the public advocacy roles, the public education roles, the holding them accountable roles.
And so we ask, if you can, please contribute to our 2023 fundraising campaign. Every little bit helps!
Public Information Town Halls
Together with the Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition and FROGs (Forbid Roads over Greenspaces) we are hosting a series of public town halls on the Bradford Bypass.
Following on the point, above, about how non-profits are filling gaps left by governments, we’ve done new research, which will be presented at these town halls, showing important information on the public health implications of the highway that was missed by proponents. (This research is embargoed at the moment, but we will be posting it on our website once it becomes available.)
June 4, 4 – 6pm, Bradford and District Community Memorial Centre (Auditorium Room) (Google Maps Link)
June 11th, 3 PM – 5 PM. The Link, 20849 Dalton Road, Sutton (Google Maps Link)
June 20th, 6 – 8 PM. Holland Landing Public Library, Trillium Room, 19513 Yonge Street, Holland Landing (Google Maps Link)
TVO’s The Agenda
SCGC’s Margaret Prophet, together with Jonathan Scott, Bradford West Gwillimbury councillor, Dave Neeson, Georgina councillor, and Claire Malcolmson, of the Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition, were panelists on TVO’s The Agenda last week to discuss issues regarding Lake Simcoe, including whether it should be treated in similar fashion to the Great Lakes.
Local MPPs have supported what is perhaps the most profound degradation of environmental protections in Ontario’s history, but they have been treated as if they aren’t responsible. It’s past time they feel the heat for their decisions to sell of Ontario’s natural heritage to wealthy developers.
Download and share these graphics on social media to help ramp up the pressure on them, and let them know they will be held accountable.
Community Leaders for a Sustainable Simcoe (CLASS)
Over the past few months we’ve been participating in webinars organized by the environmental non-profit, Ecospark, on issues include affordable housing and farmland preservation.
These are now available to view at the following links:
The Whale Substack
Last week’s post on The Whale dealt reasons why we should reclaim our streets. Ben, one of our resident writers, explored his experience of growing up with a sense of freedom that he worries is being lost for his children, due to the presence of cars, travelling at speed, in their daily lives.
It’s worth asking the question – what does it mean that we design the places we live in such a way that our children have to be taught, from the earliest age, to be fearful, or at least extremely cautious, about large portions of their environment?