The third Saturday in July is Canada’s Parks Day. It’s a day to celebrate and experience our cherished green spaces and historical sites where people all across Canada can have fun while enjoying educational family-friendly events.
Canada’s Parks Day is celebrated every third Saturday in July and was created by the Canadian Parks Council, which is made up of the federal, provincial and territorial parks agencies.
In Ontario, we are lucky to have so many provincial parks, conservation reserves, protected areas and wilderness areas. Together, they make up about 10 per cent of the entire land area of our province.
Many of the events held on Canada’s Parks Day focus on how parks not only support habitat for endangered species, plants and animals, but how important they are for the good of our physical and mental health. There is a growing number of studies that show how beneficial nature is to our well-being.
Those benefits extend to our health care system. Spending time in nature means our health care system doesn’t have as heavy a burden to bear in treating preventable physical and mental health problems.
But the Ford government has proven time and time again that it lacks common sense and long-term vision with its broken campaign promises and its weak environmental policies.
During last year’s provincial election, Doug Ford promised to hire more conservation officers who specialize in natural resources protection and enforcement. There are actually fewer conservation officers now than when he took office.
Gutting the province’s Endangered Species Act, cancelling the 50 Million Trees program, closing the Ontario Tree Seed Plant, ramming through the More Homes, More Choice Act – it’s clear that preserving green spaces for endangered species, plants, animals and the well-being of Ontarians is not a priority for the Ford government.
Our well-being, along with the protection of our natural resources, go hand-in-hand in creating a healthier and happier Ontario. Let’s celebrate Canada’s Parks Day this year with a renewed appreciation of our valuable green spaces.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, First Vice-President/Treasurer