By Don Pearson, General Manager, Conservation Ontario
It seems paradoxical that the federal government is so aggressively pursuing its anti-environmental agenda precisely when the weight of evidence demands the opposite response. The human population reached 7 billion at the end of October, winter in North America simply wasn’t this year, and tornado season came early to the Midwest. Insurance companies are bleeding red ink, and we are experiencing unprecedented economic hardship. But, this government is fixated on addressing the economy by focusing on GDP growth, consumption, and traditional measures of economic health while seemingly ignoring the other side of the ledger! No doubt sociologists and criminologists are expressing the same frustration with the ideologically driven law and order agenda that flies in the face of trends and results elsewhere.
Canada is blessed to have such a large percentage of the world’s freshwater (20% in the Great Lakes alone) within its borders – yet the abandonment of this world class research facility, coupled with its lengthy period of operation, signals that the federal government is dismissing its responsibility to manage its freshwater resources with the care they deserve. We simply cannot blame those who are cynical about the motives of the federal government in establishing a National Conservation Plan (or at least, in talking about establishing one) when the government’s actions seem to run contrary to the Plan’s stated purpose “…to move our conservation objectives forward and better connect all Canadians with nature.” I believe Canadians still feel quite strongly about their environment, and this government will face the consequences of these ill-thought decisions in years to come.