22 Nov

The good news from the election on the 22nd of October was that there will be new faces on the Niagara Regional Council and therefore on the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) board. We need to be diligent and push for new citizen faces, people who have the true love of Niagara’s natural areas foremost, to be appointed to the NPCA board. Just because a potential appointee is not a politician and has expertise in ecology doesn’t mean that this person will support preservation instead of development. Wonderful people with expertise in environmental concerns and a commitment to the biodiversity of our area live in Niagara. We need to find them and urge them to put their names forward and urge councils to appoint them.

Please get involved. If we sit back and wait to see what happens, we will have more of the same problems we had before.

A number of concerned citizens have regularly been calling and emailing elected officials urging them to save areas like Thundering Waters. More people are involved than ever before. Still, although we are loud, we are not huge in numbers. Elected officials feel comfortable calling us special interest groups and ignoring our concerns. Who is to blame for this? Have you contacted your mayor or councilors lately? No? Then you are to blame and you are to blame for many of Niagara’s forests and wetland areas being paved over.

We have new councils and new opportunities. Please email or pick up the phone. If we all reached out, we would not be a special interest; we would be a large part of the community that would vote for an official who voted on the side of preserving our natural heritage. We would be listened to.

When politicians and developers promise to protect wetlands, look further. Provincially significant wetlands have legal protection. It is building too close to these wetlands and also destroying the forests and meadows near to and connecting these wetlands that eventually degrade them. Watch out for their weasel words like “balance” or “smart development” and let council members know that building any residences in natural areas is absolutely not acceptable.

We are polite and quiet people but we need to be confident and assertive people. Please speak out. We have new councils and we need to introduce ourselves. Please email and/or pick up the phone. The time to save our natural areas from the destruction caused by inappropriate development is now.