Happy Canada Day! This year, I’ve avoided the parades, entertainment, and other public hoopla that normally come with our nation’s birthday. However, I did wear green for our national birthday, as advocated by Nanaimo, BC resident Dana Haggarty.
“I would like to see green added to the celebrations this year, so we can all show that we care about our environment and we don’t support the government’s changes to environmental protection,” says Haggarty, a PhD student at the Biodiversity Research Centre at the University of B.C.
This marine biologist invited all Canadians to wear green on Canada Day as a symbolic gesture against the Conservative Party’s omnibus budget bill, Bill C-38. Sadly, this bill, which eliminates a cutting-edge environmental research centre and decades of environmental regulations, fisheries and species protection, has just passed in the Senate. Its legislative changes will soon be law.
“The stories of cuts and closures to scientific labs have really affected me and my colleagues working on ecological integrity monitoring that have lost their jobs from the cuts,” says Haggarty.
Our prime minister is poised to begin more program cuts, layoffs, and amendments to environmental assessment, including measures that weaken the legal clout of the federal Fisheries Act and Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.
That’s ironic, since Canadians consider the country’s wilderness the best symbol of “what Canada really is,” even beyond hockey and our flag, according to a Canada Day poll by Ipsos Reid. We’ve allowed Stephen Harper to trample on our natural heritage and threaten the very earth and ecosystems that we cherish as a nation and people.
That’s not even mentioning the other unwanted aspects of Bill C-38, like cuts to old-age security benefits, employment insurance, health care, immigration—even stiffer penalties for marijuana use. All will become part of our new reality as Canadians this year.
That’s why I support Haggarty’s Green Canada Day as a collective sign of protest. As she says on her website:
- I will wear green to send a message that our country’s identity is our environment.
- I will wear green to protest the dismantling of environmental protection through changes to the Fisheries Act and repeals of the National Round Table Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.
- I will wear green to protest what has been dubbed the “environmental devastation” act, bill C-38, and how we have not been consulted.
- I will wear green to show that I care about our climate and I am ashamed that our government has missed all of their targets and has no adequate plan to cut emissions.
- I will wear green to protest funding cuts and closures to our important centres of environmental research: the Experimental Lakes, PEARL, the Centre for Plant Health, the Bamfield Marine Science Centre, and others.
- I will wear green to protest cuts to Ecological Integrity Monitoring in National Parks and cuts to the Contaminants Program Fisheries and Oceans.
- I will wear green to protest cuts to fish habitat management at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
- I will wear green for my health and the health of my unborn children.
- I I will wear green for our land, water and air.
- I will wear green for our climate and environment.
- I will wear green for our oceans.
- I will wear green for our wildlife, our trees, our plants, our animals, our fishes.
- I will wear green for you, for me, for our future.
”This land is your land, this land is my land . . .”
July 1, 2012 at 5:33 pm Comments (0)