L'Union fait la force

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Greetings! I am delighted to have the opportunity, thanks to the editors of the Millstone, to share my concerns and ideas about the environment. I want to engage with you to find solutions to some serious issues threatening the future of our planet. Although we are just a small community, we have the power to change the apathy that now prevails. This monthly column is just one of millions of initiatives in the world aiming to change inaction to action.

 You are probably curious about my background. I am a recently retired elementary-school teacher who has lived in Blakeney with my husband for exactly 7 years. During my previous residency in Kanata (for 18 years), I was part of a group, the Kanata-Stittsville Voice on Planning, that opposed building the Palladium (now Scotia Bank Place) on prime agricultural land. Despite a legal battle at the OMB, that farmland has now sprouted an arena surrounded by numerous car dealerships. Our group also advocated for a real town centre for Kanata with pedestrian-friendly access to cultural events, shopping, and community activities, which got perverted into a shopping mall in the Centrum. Now that I live in Mississippi Mills, I’m determined to help prevent a similar fate for a place that has so much charm, vibrancy, beautiful farms, and natural spaces.

As a mother and a former teacher, I am very much aware of the need to advocate for children. They have hardly lived upon this earth; yet this is what they stand to inherit: extinct animals and plants that were flourishing when you and I were born, food insecurity, winters without snow, unbearably hot summers, extreme floods and droughts, and conflict as people fight to control the remaining resources. Are we adults entitled to squander the resources we have inherited because we now “own” them and can do as we want? Of course not!

Here is what we can do: We need to get informed about environmental issues affecting our community, our province, and our country. (I will address several of these in future columns.) Then we can let our municipal councillors, MPP, and MP know about our concerns. We may find that steps are already being taken to tackle these concerns, in which case we can show our support. Let’s share our concerns with the media as well, including this newspaper. As they say in French: L’union fait la force!