Advocacy in Action - July

Category: News
on 23 July 2018

At BurlingtonGreen, we want YOU to have your say when it comes to important environmental issues in Burlington. We are always seeking support for a number of different advocacy initiatives, which is why we have created this page to act as a 'one-stop' for all up-to-date advocacy-related information and calls to action to help you get involved and stay informed.

Here are some of the issues we are working on.....

milkweed monarch

1. Speaking Up Works, Check Out Doreen's Story! 
BurlingtonGreen is happy about the City’s decision to not enforce the by-law the prevents people from growing milkweed and we look forward to a new bylaw in September that will align with the Provincial Weed Control Act and allow it to be grown. The decision followed efforts by local resident Doreen Nicoll who received a notice to remove the milkweed growing in her garden.

Milkweed is the only plant that Monarch caterpillars eat, and we must act swiftly in order to save this endangered species. Our neighbours Oakville and Cootes to Escarpment already encourage the planting of milkweed and Burlington must follow suit; in Toronto, Mayor John Tory has officially proclaimed Sunday, May 27 Milkweed Day.

The City of Toronto has joined other cities across North America to help protect the endangered Monarch butterfly by signing the tri-national Mayor’s Monarch Pledge. We call on Mayor Goldring to sign the petition. More information about the pledge is available here.

Call to Action! Connect with the Mayor and ask him to sign the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge.

2. Ontario Withdraws from Cap and Trade and cancels the GreenON Fund
We are disappointed by the new Provincial government’s decision to withdraw from the Cap and Trade program. The program gave polluters an incentive to cut emissions – if you pollute less, you pay less. The proceeds from Cap and Trade were invested in programs that helped homeowners and businesses save money by improving energy-efficiency, such as the Green Ontario Fund.

The decision to withdraw from Cap and Trade has also impacted the federal funding that Ontario was set to receive under the Low and Carbon Economy Leadership Fund. The more than $400 million dollars earmarked for Ontario is currently under review as funding is contingent on imposing a carbon pricing scheme. These funds were set to help Ontario fulfill its greenhouse-gas emissions-reduction targets. We have reached out to our local MPP and requested a meeting to discuss environmental challenges and priorities in Burlington in light of these developments. Click here to read the full letter.

3. Missed Opportunity for Canadians Right to a Healthy Environmentblue dot
In June, the Federal government released a response to recommendations made by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development to modernize the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA). The CEPA is Canada’s primary law on pollution and toxics. Among those recommendations is recognizing Canadians’ legal right to a healthy environment. The Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change is committing to undertake further engagement on this issue during the next two years, but has made no commitments beyond that.

This is a missed opportunity to join the more than 150 countries that recognize environmental rights, and the large public support for the right in Canada. We will be following this issue closely and offering our input through the public consultation process.

Call to Action! Contact your MP and voice your concerns about the government’s decision to postpone action to fix CEPA and recognize environmental rights for all Canadians.

4. Help preserve green space in Burlington! Sign the petition.Green space poster image
We are closely following the Waterfront Hotel redevelopment, advocating for redevelopment that incorporates sustainable design principles, ensuring that surrounding eco-systems are not threatened. A Burlington citizens’ group called Plan B has formed to not only voice its concerns over the redevelopment, but to also share its vision for an alternative proposal.

5. Have Your Say! Moving Canada Toward Zero Plastic Waste. 
Share your ideas about how Canada can reduce plastic waste and marine litter, and help develop a federal-provincial-territorial approach to keep plastic within the economy and out of landfills and the environment. Provide your and participate in the public consultation.

If there is a local environmental issue that concerns you that requires immediate attention, please let us know. Or, if you are someone with an interest in environmental issues who likes to follow local politics, we can use your help and invite you to learn more about our volunteer Advocacy Team here.

Learn more about our advocacy program by visiting our Greenprint for the Future and Advocacy pages.

Together we make a difference for a more sustainable future.