I do not live in the municipality of Metchosin (I live, own, and pay taxes in a neighbouring municipality) but I recently read about a decision by your mayor and council that ought to cause everyone in Metchosin to shake their heads and question our future as caring stewards of our environment both rural and urban.
The story is contained in this link (http://www.goldstreamgazette.com/news/303944241.html ) and it speaks of the shameful refusal of the mayor and majority of Metchosin council to endorse the entrenchment of a Declaration for the Right to a Healthy Environment in our Canadian Charter of Rights. According to the news article the mayor indicated that such an endorsement “would lead to “unintended consequences” that could see “urban” demands legally brought against rural communities like Metchosin, a situation he said would lead to higher taxes.”
Oh dear rural do-gooders – please pull your heads out of the sand. What the heck are “urban demands” especially when we are talking about air, water, and healthy food sources? Have you spent any time reading exactly what this proposed declaration is about? The David Suzuki Foundation created an organization called The Blue Dot Movement (http://bluedot.ca ) which ultimately seeks to have enshrined rights for all Canadians with respect to breathing fresh air, drinking clean water and eating healthy food and to have these rights legally recognized at all levels of government in Canada. When did this become an “urban demand” and what makes your rural community so special as to stand apart from a very real set of challenges for all Canadians.
Could this lead to unintended consequences and higher taxes – Ahh yes just maybe, but are we all supposed to run away from the prospect of higher taxes, for example, if just maybe we could begin to address fundamental issues that impact our environment across this country? Do we believe that air, water, and food sourcing stops at the boundaries of each of our respective communities? Come on people, whether you are a fan of the David Suzuki Foundation or not, take a moment to begin to understand the broader issues that this movement is attempting to address.
We have allowed our governments to sell our resources and damage our environment with little consequence for the future. How do we stand up and show that we care about these issues if we do not become informed citizens and begin to push our governments to become accountable. Might all of this cost money or might this open up issues we have yet to think of or imagine – again maybe – but how terribly arrogant and narrow of us to get panicky about a potential concern when we might be missing the bigger issue of whether our fresh air, our clean water sources, and our potential food sources may be damaged beyond repair. These are boundaryless issues that affect us all. Look at the big picture for all of us – look at what corporations are being permitted to do with OUR resources and then ask yourself do you care – do you believe that by sitting by and letting powerful external forces influence governments, and believe that your little rural enclave will be safe for you and your children? Wake up Metchosin and show some global leadership rather than building walls around your hermit kingdom.