The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how our province’s leaders can to work together to ensure the safety of Ontario’s people. It has required collaboration, cooperation, and immediate action. This approach to leadership must also be taken to protect Ontario in the fight against climate change. It’s something to think about as we mark Earth Day on April 22.
50 years ago today, 20 million activists used their collective voices to demand change. Since then, Earth Day efforts have led to major new laws around the world, protecting air, water, and endangered species. Today, on Earth Day 2020, the focus is on the importance of climate action – looking at the challenges that stand in the way of taking action and the opportunities that exist to support it.
In Ontario, we have a long way to go in the fight against climate change. Premier Doug Ford and his government have cancelled more than 700 wind, solar, and other clean energy projects and have dismantled the cap-and-trade system that put a provincial price on pollution and funded green initiatives. Instead of incorporating a mix of clean energy initiatives to take action now, they’ve chosen to solely focus on fighting climate change with nuclear power.
At OPSEU, we believe that we all have a part to play in protecting the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the ecosystems we live alongside. The approach taken to curb the spread of COVID-19 should be a template for solving environmental issues. Tough measures to take care of the environment now, rather than later, is the only way to preserve the environment for future generations.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, First Vice-President/Treasurer