YOUR LETTERS COUNT - Greenbelt and Niagara
By Bruce Mackenzie
Escarpment Plan 10 year Reviews.
We have just gone through a provincial and municipal election and not long from now we will have the opportunity of voting again in a Federal election. From the recent low voter turnouts we know that many people must think “Why vote? What difference does it make?” Well, your vote, your voice counts a lot.
I think that every person who does not vote makes my vote become twice as important. If you are not heard others will be. I also believe that we should never underestimate the power of positive communication with politicians through either voting or regular communications.
Politicians and political parties have ears. They have eyes. We must present our ideas to them to be heard and seen.
Recently the Globe and Mail made the plight of the victims of thalidomide a national priority of the Conservative Government of Canada. Without the front page coverage no one knows if the voices of the victims would have ever been heard.
In a Globe and Mail column by Sylvia Stead she discusses the role that journalists played in getting the attention of the government but she goes on to say “ But journalism alone doesn’t drive the public agenda; it needs help. Those who follow the news must make their feelings known, whether by commenting online, writing to the editor, or going directly to their elected officials.”
I know that members of naturalist’s organizations care. If you didn’t, you would not belong to clubs like the HNC. You likely belong to more than one such organization.
Your voice is needed now. In 2015 the Greenbelt Plan and the Niagara Escarpment Plan are up for review by the Provincial Government. You know how important the lands that are protected by the NEC and the Greenbelt are to you and to your quality of life and to your children. Many others would rather see the lands become open for development and they are actively lobbying the municipal and provincial governments to sway the politicians and planners who control the NEC and the Greenbelt. They have already started their advertising programmes.
Today is the time to let your voice be heard. Let the politicians know that you care deeply. You can send an email but better yet send a letter. Emails get lost in the swamp of emails. Think of your own life. You read every letter sent to you but you find it easy to skip an email. If you can’t send a letter send an email or call your local MLA’s office.
Spend the money on a postage stamp. The reward will be greater from your investment. I have listed the addresses for ministers responsible for the NEC and the Greenbelt. You don’t have to go into specifics. Let them know that the NEC and or the Greenbelt are very important to your quality of life and to the environment, for today and tomorrow. Tell them to hold on to what you consider precious. Reinforce that you voted for the environment and the future and land planning that looks well into the future for the next generation.
If we allow the Greenbelt and the NEC, which we have worked so hard for, to be diluted we will surely see lands become paved over. Copy the Premier Kathleen Wynne’s office and your MLA no matter what party they represent. Copy your local municipal councillor. They need to know what their constituents care about.
Niagara Escarpment Plan write:
The Honourable Bill Mauro
Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry
Suite 6630 6th Floor
99 Wellesley St. W.
Greenbelt Plan write:
The Honourable Ted McMeekin
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
777 Bay St.
Premier Kathleen Wynne
Your MLA and councillor, Google them.
Don’t forget that letters to the editors are an important way of communicating with your neighbour. Use your local paper. Build the momentum.