Winning battles feels good.

02 September 2011 Politics

It’s a good day to be an environmentalist in Ontario.

As you may know, a giant quarry one-third the size of Toronto is proposed to be dug in the heart of our best agricultural land. I’ve written about this before. It would have devastating impacts to local vegetable production, water quality, and suburban sprawl.

I was stopped yesterday by a woman at the farmer’s market who was collecting signatures for a petition against this quarry, sponsored by David Tilson, the Federal MP for Dufferin-Caledon. This was interesting, because up until now the issue has been provincial in scope. I was relieved that a federal member of parliament was willing to step in to ensure a full environmental assessment.

And so I was delightfully surprised to hear this morning that the Ontario government had changed its mind. I don’t know if this decision came about as a result of citizen protest, the upcoming election, pressure from the feds, or a combination of all these. But one thing’s for sure: this quarry will not pass an environmental assessment in its current proposed form, and that’s good news for all Ontarians.

The cherry on top of all this is an announcement that came today from Steve Paikin, host of The Agenda. For the lead-up to the Ontario election, the Green Party will be included in all debates on TVO. It’s about time. Though the Greens haven’t yet got a seat at Queen’s Park, they are most certainly a legitimate political party, increasing their vote share every election since 1999 and even beating one of the traditional parties in 18 ridings.

Our energy future is certain to be a hot topic this election, and I’m excited to hear a Green voice at the table on this and many other issues as the debate heats up.

Indeed, it’s been a good day for the environment. I’m going to celebrate with some organic soy milk and fresh, local produce.

Cheers!

Sam Nabi

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