October 2017 Monthly meeting - Inspiration to Proaction
Is your health, environment or quality of life affected by “Development”?
The time to act is NOW
About 40 people came to discuss why we must be proactive, and the tools that are available to be so.
As communities grow and change, there are many people who are negatively affected by various developments, be it industrial farms and orchards, motorized recreation, loss of forest, pollution of water and air, noise, etc. and too often people feel afraid to speak out and powerless to make a change.
Yet without being proactive, we are doomed to suffer more and more of what already affects us. Too often people wait until the problems become so acute as to be practically unsolvable. We see this already with polluted aquifers that leave people without water and excessive deforestation that cause landslides, erosion and water pollution.
This SENS evening was designed to show people that there are different tools already available to help us be effective lobbyists for healthy communities, prioritizing people and environmental health. People may associate opposition to destructive development with 'fighting', whereas it is rather in support of plans that go in a more positive direction.
It became evident from the presentations that although the City of Vernon and the Regional District have signed on to the Blue Dot movement, declaring that we have the "inherent right to a healthy environment which includes clean water, fresh air and healthy food”, this is not preventing toxic chemicals from contaminating sources of drinking water, as well as soil and air. (160 communities in Canada have signed on as Blue Dot Communities).
Many people spoke eloquently and emotionally about their struggles against destructive development and about how laws designed to protect us are failing us. It became clear that every person or group working to protect our communities and environment is in need of help and support. It also became evident that no person or community is immune to environmental destruction.
It was proposed that SENS coordinate an Action Network. The way this would work is that people who subscribe to it would receive an email when local action to protect our environment is being planned and would know whom to contact if they want to get involved. No one would have to take action, but all subscribers would be informed that an action or petition is taking place and what they can do to help it succeed should they choose.
If you wish to have your e-mail on this Action Network List, reply to Huguette (email@example.com) so that your e-mail can be added to this list.
A good example of a tool available is the Shuswap Watershed Sustainability Plan which was completed by RDNO with the help of citizens. It details the activities that harm the environment, and if better known could be a great reference tool for anyone who wishes to be proactive in prevention of polluting activities.
We hope that everyone who feels that there is a damaging project looming or already occurring in their community will attend subsequent events, so we can all work together on the same page. Only by being proactive will we stop pollution from entering lakes and rivers, preserve what's left of wilderness, and ensure that our children can prosper in healthy communities.
Presentations are attached, below.