Time to take action

Opinion

To the Editor:

Given that people have been in conflict with the pulp mill lately, I’d like to point out that we are far from being alone with our fight for the future.

Many people around here are concerned with jobs, and I understand that. However, your job won’t matter if you’re not alive to work. At the rate that we’ve been destroying species of plants and animals, it’s amazing that we’re still here. I’ve had enough of jobs and dollars being put before actual living things — jobs can be replaced, money is nothing more than a tool — and a poor one at that — to control how we exchange goods and services, it can be replaced too. Water is needed — it can’t be replaced. Clean soil is needed — it can’t be replaced. Clean air is needed. If you haven’t had respiratory problems then you have no opinion on clean air — until you find yourself gasping for air and unable to help yourself, you can’t quite understand just how essential clean air is. I grew up with childhood asthma, I know what it’s like.

To the issue now at hand in Ontario:

(Provided by greenpeace)

Doug Ford’s government is reviewing the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This is alarming news, based on his government’s past record.

This is a critical moment for endangered species. Some of Ontario’s most beloved animals are at risk of disappearing forever. Caribou, polar bears, songbird and turtle species are in decline in this province. The list of endangered species is growing.

The biggest problem with the Endangered Species Act is that it has never been properly enforced. Successive governments ignored deadlines, made minimal efforts, and watered down the rules.

Industry enjoys massive exemptions from the ESA’s strict measures. This has to stop. The government must get rid of the sweeping exemptions to the ESA, then enforce the rules.

Based on the content of the review, the Ford government seems focused on making it even easier for logging, mining and other industry to destroy the ecosystems that endangered species — and we — need for survival.

It is urgent that we take action. Ontarians must push Ford to address the real problem — the decline in our endangered plants and animals.

Each one of us can take action by writing to our MPP and participating in the ESA public consultation. Endangered species are depending on us for their survival.

Chelsea Pettipas

Linacy