Polls are open! We hope you take the time today to vote!
An engaged resident, Julie, of Georgetown, who inspired us with her lawn-free, pollinator garden this spring, sent us a lovely email we’d like to repost here to give you some more incentive to get out and vote today:
“Earth’s human population has surpassed the 7 billion mark. Ponder for a moment what billions of us are doing every day. We fill the air we need to breathe, the ground where we grow our food, our food
itself and the water we need to drink with toxins. We burn combustibles continuously to get around, so we don’t have to do labour ourselves or so that we are never too hot or too cold. We then tell scientists to find out why so many people have asthma, cancer, autoimmune disorders and numerous other diseases. But we already know the answers, don’t we?
If your child tried to:
– eat fruit plucked from a vat of pesticides
– drink from the water downstream of a factory farm or
– walk into a closed garage where a car had been running
you would stop them, because they were in immediate danger. If you consider that Earth is essentially a closed system, at what point will the cumulative effects of these toxins change from imminent danger into immediate danger? Think about how many people you personally know who are ill, as compared to when you were young. So why are we waiting until our children are counted amongst these statistics?
On October 19th, we all have the opportunity to cast our vote. A vote for healthy food, clean water, public health care and serious action on climate change.
There are many groups that have compiled the federal party positions on all these vital topics.
Here are a few to get you started:
The World Health Organization has listed glyphosate, a pesticide used on most genetically modified crops, as a probable carcinogen. They have also posted a report from Argentinian physicians
which correlates genetically modified crops and glyphosate with increased incidents of birth defects, miscarriages, toxic liver disease, neurological developmental problems in children, kidney failure, respiratory problems, and allergies. Glyphosate is sprayed on many non-organic food crops, particularly ones that are genetically modified.
Party positions on genetically modified organisms :
Your Guide to Water and the Federal Election:
The Ontario Health Coalition website has a chart detailing the federal parties’ positions on 4 key health care issues, which are to: sign the Health Accord, stop privatization, create a national drug program (pharmacare) and improve senior’s care.
Environmental Defense and Équiterre posted the following report on the federal parties’ positions on climate change:
Think about our children’s earnest, shining little faces as they recycle, turn off lights, plant nature gardens and trees, certain that they are helping save the world. And tonight, when you peek in on your sleeping children, please think about the following: Their innocent, peaceful slumber is due to their belief that we will do anything to protect them. Let’s vote to make their beliefs a reality. Sincerely, Julie Power”
We are so pleased to announce the winners of our first ever Discover Your Creek Photo Contest!
1st prize goes to the recipient of the most Likes on our Facebook Page: ‘Lonely’ by Sonia Illner, taken at 16 Mile Creek
2nd prize goes to ‘Take Off’ by Peter Gladysz taken from 16 Mile Creek
3rd prize goes to ‘Apple Feast’ by Mirjana Cutura taken at Lion’s Valley Park, along 16 Mile Creek
Thank you to everyone else who submitted a Discover Your Creek Photo contest entry! We appreciate that you got outside and discovered your creeks and shared your photos with us!
Oakvillegreen also gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Oakville Environmental Fund at the Oakville Community Foundation, a registered charitable public foundation serving the Oakville Community (www.theocf.org) for their support of our Discover Your Creek project.
Thank you also to our Photo Contest prize donors, including The Ian Martin Group and Oakville Blueprinting. Ian Martin Group employees discovered a section of 14 Mile Creek this past Spring, while they volunteered to remove invasive plants! Oakville Blueprinting has also supported our Discover Your Creek project with a donation of sign printing.
It’s Almost Here – Election 2015: October 19, 2015
We encourage you to VOTE this election! To determine if you are registered to vote, to find out where to vote and to see the candidates for your electoral district visit: http://www.elections.ca/home.aspx
Vote Compass https://votecompass.cbc.ca is an educational tool developed by political scientists designed to help you explore how you fit in Canada’s political landscape. “Vote Compass promotes an informed electorate but it also channels the voice of the people.”
Learn about 14 social issues affecting Canadian communities at Canada Votes from the Social Planning Network of Ontario: http://www.spno.ca/canada-votes-2015
13 Essential Environmental Questions for Election Candidates by Andrew Reeves in Alternatives Journal: http://www.alternativesjournal.ca/policy-and-politics/13-essential-questions-election-candidates
An interesting CBC summary of why this election campaign will look very different from previous elections: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-election-2015-11-things-that-changed-since-2011-s-vote-1.3175985
Ontario Society of Professional Engineers review of party platforms: http://blog.ospe.on.ca/advocacy/ospe-monitors-party-platforms-federal-election-2015/
Conservative Party of Canada, “Policy Declaration” http://www.conservative.ca/media/documents/Policy-Declaration-Feb-2014.pdf
Green Party of Canada, “Our Vision” http://www.greenparty.ca/en/our-vision
Liberal Party of Canada, “The Plan” https://www.liberal.ca/realchange/
New Democrat Party, “The Issues” http://www.ndp.ca/issues
We encourage you to attend meet the candidate sessions and election debates and ask questions of your candidates. Here are some sample questions to ask your candidates on two key issues:
On Climate Change –
Canada is one of the world’s highest per capita emitters of greenhouse gases (emitting 14.7 tonnes per person/year) and the 10th highest global energy users per capita. In 2009, the Government of Canada committed to reducing GHG emissions to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. But Environment Canada data indicates that we are less than halfway there. Canada’s failure to meet its promised GHG target is principally due to growing emissions from the tar sands. Scientists suggest that to remain under a 2.0°C threshold of manageable warming, much more ambitious emission reduction targets are required (Weaver et al. 2007: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2007GL031018/full). Canadian renewable energy sources, principally hydroelectric, only made up 16.6% of primary demand in 2012 and are projected to fall to 16.1% by 2035. Fossil fuels (oil, gas, and coal) made up 74.3% of primary demand in Canada in 2012, which is projected to rise to 76.8% by 2035.
- What action will your party take on climate change?
- Will you and your party halt the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure, particularly tar sands and pipeline development, including Energy East?
- Will your party support full hydrostatic testing on Enbridge’s 9B line? (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/news/what-this-federal-election-means-to-the-enbridge-line-9-pipeline-1.3198434 and more on this issue here: http://hamorg/view_article.php?id=1364).
- Will your party put a price on carbon emissions through a tax or fee in order to discourage the use of fossil fuels, encourage energy conservation, investment in low-carbon technologies, and the use of renewable forms of energy?
- Will your party prioritize energy efficiency by supporting changes to municipal building codes or offering tax incentives for people who complete home-energy retrofits?
- Will your party develop a renewable energy strategy for Canada?
On Infrastructure and Transportation –
Eighty per cent of Canadians live in major urban centres, and many of our suburbs are expanding rapidly. This growth puts added pressure on roads, services and adjacent farmland. At the same time, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities claims we need an additional $200-billion to repair existing infrastructure and fund new projects. This gap leaves us vulnerable to everything from aging bridges to extreme weather events. Canada’s transportation sector is currently a significant greenhouse gas emitter. Congestion, meanwhile, accounts for billions of dollars in lost productivity each year in regions like the Greater Toronto-Hamilton Area.
- How will your party ensure that Canada’s cities are resilient and sustainable?
- Will your party invest in a strategic development plan for mass transportation, including public transit, better fuel standards for cars made in Canada, cycling infrastructure and helping Canadians make better transportation choices?
- Will you support transferring a portion of federal taxes to municipalities for transit expansion and repairs and improvements in streets, parks, water systems, and green infrastructure.