Political Action of the Week
2023 is on track to be the hottest year ever recorded. We cannot afford any more delays phasing out fossil fuels. We must demand that Steven Guilbeault, the Minister of Environment, and Chrystia Freeland, the Minister of Finance, own up to Canada’s responsibilities at COP28:
- push for a global agreement to reduce emissions and to make Canada commit to a full, fast and fair phase-out of fossil fuels;
- hold polluters accountable by imposing a climate damages tax on Canadian fossil fuel polluters to finance the UN Loss & Damage fund.
Free Heat Pumps For Some… What About Us (WAU)? Tell Graydon Smith and Doug Ford that this is totally wacky!
First the good news: Ontario is now offering free cold-climate air-source heat pumps (ASHP) to income-eligible households with electric baseboard heating. According to the province’s Save On Energy program, ASHP can reduce residents’ electricity bills by up to 50%.
Now the bad news: propane, fuel oil, and fossil gas users don’t qualify! If you are scratching your head about the logic of only helping people on electric heating to cut their energy bills and reduce climate damaging pollution, then join the club. Meanwhile, the Province of Ontario is providing subsidies averaging $32,000 per customer to Enbridge Gas to hook up more homes to fossil gas.
Cold climate ASHPs provide homeowners with cleaner air and much larger bill savings than switching to fossil gas. Instead of providing huge subsidies to Enbridge Gas, the Government of Ontario should be providing free cold climate ASHPs to all income-eligible households, period.
Ask Premier Ford and MPP Graydon Smith to provide free cold climate ASHPs to all income eligible Ontario households instead of subsiding Enbridge Gas.
Oct 17, 2023 – The news last month that U.S. President Joe Biden is launching an American Climate Corps brings new momentum to a similar effort in Canada, with one crucial difference—the B.C.-based Climate Emergency Unit is calling for a national Youth Climate Corps in which no young person who wants a good, green job will be turned away. From The Energy Mix. Read article
They are asking under-35s across Canada to fill out this mock cover letter with their ideas and hopes for climate jobs for the future. Climate Emergency Unit will take the letters to our elected officials, showing them that young people demand a Youth Climate Corps to rapidly decarbonize, electrify, and secure jobs, now.
Please share this link widely : https://www.climateemergencyunit.ca/ycccoverletter — especially with family and friends who are under 35.
Ontario Power Generation wants to build a large new gas plant (265 megawatts) in Halton Hills near Toronto. This new gas plant could produce as much air pollution as 250,000 cars each year. This will lead to more illnesses (e.g., asthma attacks, heart and lung diseases) for GTA residents and more climate damage everywhere.
We must halt the expansion of fossil gas everywhere in Ontario and opt for renewables as the city of Kingston has done. Please send Mayor Ann Lawlor and Hallton Hills Town Council a message urging them to vote against more polluting gas power in their community. From the Ontario Clean Air Alliance.
Add your voice HERE.
For years, Canada’s big banks have been using our money to fuel the climate crisis. Not only have they refused to divest from fossil fuels, but Canadian banks are actually increasing their funding of fossil fuels — and are now among the worst 15 fossil fuel funders in the whole world.  RBC, ScotiaBank, TD, BMO, and CIBC provided over ONE TRILLION CDN to fossil fuels since the global climate change treaty known as the Paris Agreement was signed.  It’s time for the government to step in to defund fossil fuels.
Join the Ontario Health Coalition Mass Protest to Stop the Ford Government’s Privatization of Our Public Hospitals — September 25
We need a strong public health care system to address current and future climate impacts. From the Ontario Health Coalition: “We are opposed to the privatization of our public hospitals. We paid for them. We built them. They do not belong to the Ford government to run them into crisis, gut their core services and privatize them. We demand that the Ford government:
- Stop the privatization of our public hospitals
- Stop creating a crisis in our public hospitals by underfunding them, cutting and closing services, and trying to roll back wages of nurses, health professionals & support staff
- Expand the use of existing ORs in our public hospitals, and
- Expand capacity in our public hospitals & restore closed services.”
Call your MPP to ask the O.P.P. to investigate the Greenbelt land removal
Update Sept 1, 2023 – Read about “Mr. X”, private lunches and “untrained” staff: how Ontario’s housing minister was found to have breached ethics rules over Greenbelt. Read story
Tell your MPP what you think about the government working with a few close friends in the development industry to strip lands from the Greenbelt. Also demand that they share any information they have about the removal of land from the Greenbelt with the O.P.P. in order to restore public trust in our government. Send letter.
Be sure to add your own comment to MPP Graydon Smith in the additional comment box provided. The entire letter gets copied to MPP Smith. If you get a form letter-type response from him rather than a substantive reply, please call his office at 705-645-8538 or send a personal email Graydon.Smith@pc.ola.org to him stating that you have read about the Auditor General’s investigative report and believe that the O.P.P. should investigate to see if any of the land purchases were made based on confidential information. You can look up your MPP’s contact information here.
Write to Graydon Smith
Aug 11, 2023
Please write to MPP Graydon Smith, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry asking him to step up with his colleagues and plead for the return of all lands to The Greenbelt in light of the serious allegations of corrupt practices, which have been revealed in the Auditor General’s Report. CBC News Report: Ontario-auditor-general-greenbelt-report
Here’s a sample script for your email to MPP Smith (Graydon.Smith@pc.ola.org) . Please write your comment in your own words.
Sample Text: “I’m asking you as my MPP and as Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, to put the full weight of your Cabinet Assignment behind a call for the reversal of the changes to Greenbelt boundaries which were made last year. I urge you also to plead to your colleagues – Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark, Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks David Piccini, and Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Lisa Thompson – to accept the Auditor General’s recommendation to re-evaluate the 2022 Greenbelt decision. Your government must make this right by restoring Greenbelt protections to the lands removed.”
OR sign on to this LEADNOW form letter to MPP Smith, which you can edit to make it your own.
Complete District Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reduction Strategy Survey
before August 10th, 2023.
This could be the most important survey you fill out this year. The District of Muskoka is currently developing a strategy to reduce GHG emissions. This strategy will determine whether or not Muskoka meets its climate targets by 2030. More than two years ago, all Muskoka councils committed to reduce GHGs 50% by 2030, reaching zero by 2050. To date we have seen mere token action on this front from all local governments.
Whether you are a permanent or seasonal resident, a temporary visitor to Muskoka, or use services/businesses in Muskoka (that’s you Almaguin, Parry Sound and Haliburton!), please complete the following survey before August 10th, 2023.
While the survey is simplistic, it is an opportunity to demonstrate to the District how seriously you take the Climate Crisis and that you want them to take it seriously too. For instance, Numbers 9 – 11 allow only one answer. If you feel this is too limited, be sure to use the text boxes in the other questions to express what you feel needs to be done. In questions 12 – 15, we encourage you to list as many actions as you feel will be required for the significant GHG reductions we need. As the folks who are aware and concerned about climate, let’s flood the District with knowledgeable responses. Take the survey.
Sign and share leadnow petition demanding Ontario government accountability
Provincial government decisions are rapidly driving Ontario deeper into a climate emergency which is spiking the cost of living and damaging our homes and infrastructure. The climate crisis is the single greatest threat to the economy and to human health. This hurts us all.
This leadnow petition calls on the Government of Ontario to urgently implement the evidence-based solutions laid out in the Climate Action Plan of the Ontario Climate Emergency Campaign, endorsed by over 250 Signatory Groups representing over 850,000 Ontarians.
This may be one of the most important petitions you sign this year. Learn more and share and sign.
District of Muskoka Strategic Plan 2023-2026. Have Your Say.
open until Monday, July 3, 2023.
The District of Muskoka wants to know what you think of its Draft Strategic Plan 2023-2026. Let’s take a half an hour this week and tell the District Council what we need them to do in this climate crisis to bring down fossil fuel emissions starting this year and for the next three. What specific actions need to go into the plan? Either share your thoughts through the survey or send a separate submission. The survey is open until Monday, July 3, 2023.
Call Graydon Smith out on tone-deaf announcement
In the midst of wildfires across Ontario, Quebec, and other parts of Canada, amidst a declared Restricted Fire Zone in Ontario, with widespread air quality warnings and with smoke from Canada’s wildfires reaching as far as Norway, last week MPP Graydon Smith, Ontario’s Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, announced that his government plans to burn more wood with its Forest Biomass Action Plan.
Read David Robertson’s blog, “While Fires Rage, Premier Ford Announces Program to Burn More Wood.” David is a member of SCAN! (Seniors for Climate Action Now!). Then write to our MPP, Graydon Smith, “protector” of Ontario’s natural resources and forests, with your thoughts on this $20 million plan.
Support Campaign to Tell MPP Smith: Hands Off Our Wetlands! Repeal Bill 23!
This advertisement, organized by Environmental Defence in partnership with Climate Action Musoka, has been published in our local press.
If you see it in your paper, please trim it and put it in your car or house window to show your support. Or you can download it HERE (PDF) and print it as many times as you want. Folded, it will fit into a regular envelope with regular postage. Mail to: Hon. Graydon Smith, 230 Manitoba St., Bracebridge, ON P1L 2E1. You may also want to include a short personal note about why shorelines and wetlands are important to you.
Learn why protection of the Oak Ridges Moraine watershed north of Toronto, currently protected by the Greenbelt is so vital to Ontario
The Oak Ridges Moraine is an important geologic feature that lies north of the city of Toronto. The Moraine is about 160 kilometres long and extends west-to-east from the Niagara Escarpment to the Trent River. This map shows the Oak Ridges Moraine watersheds. The ground surface elevation is indicated by the colour ramp, with warmer reds representing higher elevations (the Niagara Escarpment can be seen as the dark red area in the west), and cooler blues representing lower elevations. The Moraine is at a higher elevation than the areas north towards Lake Simcoe and south towards Lake Ontario. For more maps and an interesting explanation of where the water flows and how it is connected – watersheds-of-the-oak-ridges-moraine?
Learn about ‘The Carbon Capture Mirage’
The fossil fuel industry says carbon capture is the key to getting to zero emissions by 2050. Governments seem to agree — and are providing grants and tax credits to the industry. But is it?
David McKie of Canada’s National Observer examines what exactly happens with carbon capture and talks with two people who say it is not a cost-effective way to get to zero emissions. 34m:30s. Listen
Watch the webinar Beyond Gas—Ontario’s Energy Future
Hosted by the Ontario Climate Emergency Campaign (OCEC), this webinar lays out the route to an energy transition without fossil fuels, and it will leave you feeling hopeful. If you are short on time, be sure to catch the segment presented by Stanford University professor Mark Z. Jacobson, in which he explains that we already have everything we need to make the transition. His portion runs from 0h:17m to 1h:01m. The webinar is 1h:46m in total and is available on demand.
Actions from previous weeks
Speak up against alarming amendments to Ontario Mining Act
Under the guise of improving efficiency and cutting red tape, the Government of Ontario is proposing alarming amendments to the Mining Act that would significantly weaken existing environmental protection and rehabilitation requirements. (Read the ‘Proposed Building More Mines Act 2023’ ERO# 019-6715).
Join Ontario Nature in opposing these proposed amendments to the Mining Act and calling for their withdrawal. We in Parry Sound-Muskoka have a great opportunity to directly address our MPP Graydon Smith by adding our own paragraph to the beginning of the form letter provided by Ontario Nature. As Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, Graydon Smith oversees stewardship of wetlands and mining in Ontario. Learn about what is being proposed and send your Action Alert letter – here.
McMaster fails the climate test
A day after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has once again reminded us that we need to move away from fossil fuels as quickly as possible, that rich countries need to act the fastest – and that we have ample zero carbon solutions for meeting our needs – it is troubling to see one of Canada’s top post-secondary institutions dragging us backwards.
Don’t let automakers drive the agenda on ZEVs
The government of Canada has released Draft Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Regulations that create increasing annual sales quotas for all the cars, SUVs, and pick-up trucks that each automaker in Canada sells. Most automakers have opposed these draft regulations. They appear to want ZEV sales quotas eliminated. And if they cannot achieve that, they want to delay them and water them down.
The Federal Government is asking the public for input by March 16th.
Please send in your comments!
Climate Messenger ZEV mandate video (2 minutes) (also by clicking image above)
Climate Messenger toolkit (Includes links and instructions on how to to submit your comments on page 26.)
You can also submit your comments by email to either RAVD.DARV@ec.gc.ca or email@example.com
Keep those letters opposing Bill 23 coming
Doug Ford hopes this will all blow over. But the fact is, MPPs across the province are feeling the heat. We will not let this rest until they repeal Bill 23.
Let’s keep the pressure on in Parry Sound-Muskoka. Bring your letter to MPP Graydon Smith to hand-deliver to his office every Friday. Bill 23 is not a one-and-done issue! It is completely changing the future of Ontario setting us on a destructive future. Read John Riviere-Anderson’s open letter to MPP Graydon Smith: Electorate will not forget Parry Sound—Muskoka MPP’s disrespect
If you can’t make it to the Bracebridge strike in person, email your Word or PDF doc to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, signature and address at the bottom. We will print and deliver for it for you.
FEB 25, 2023 – “WELCOME BACK DOUG” RALLY AT QUEENS PARK.
Attend community open house on new hospitals for inclusion of climate solutions
These public consultations give residents the opportunity to request that all new community structures build in climate solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). This will also aid Muskoka in achieving its 2030 goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50%.
Examples of climate solutions to reduce GHGs:
- Heating: Use ground- or air-source heat pumps rather than fossil fuels, which will lock our community in to negatively affect climate far into the future.
- Require use of low-carbon building materials for both the exterior and the interior.
- Choose a site central to each community, accessible on foot or bicycle to reduce car dependency.
- Include in the design active transportation linkages to and within the community, and safe, secure bicycle parking.
- Provide convenient public transportation to the hospital. (e.g. from Gravenhurst to Bracebridge, Port Sydney to Huntsville.)
In-person Open Houses, Jan. 16 to 21: Schedule
Virtual Open House, Jan. 23, 2-3:30 and Jan. 25, 7-8:30pm: Register
Support the Wellbeing Economy for Canada
A small but growing group of countries – mostly led by women – have joined the Wellbeing Economy Governments partnership. They aim to transform economies around the world to prioritize the well-being of people and the planet, rather than endless growth. These countries have committed to do that work together and to join the statement from the European Union that recognizes the need for a well being-based economy. It’s time for Canada to join them.
Growth at any cost has dominated economic thinking and become the measure of a nation’s economic health for decades. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a simple tally of all the financial transactions that occur in a given year. However, the real value of wealth is in what it will do for people—not the other way around. We can help set Canada on the path to a better system, one that puts people and the planet first. Read about the Wellbeing Economy Alliance initiative, then sign the LeadNow petition calling on the Canadian government to join the Wellbeing Economy Governments partnership today.
Understanding Bill 23
“Bill 23 is bent on removing and weakening environmental protections and cutting out the public from meaningful involvement in land use planning and decision-making.” – Ontario Nature
Send a personal letter or a make a call to Your Provincial MPP Graydon Smith. If you’re looking for facts to share with your MPP here are some good resources: Environmental Defence’s Analysis of Bill 23 | Ontario Nature’s Backgrounder on Bill 23 | Canadian Environmental Law Association’s Review of Bill 23.
Find Your Joy in Climate Action: TED Talk and Venn Diagram
We can all play a role in the climate movement by tapping into our skills, resources and networks in ways that bring us satisfaction, says climate leader Ayana Elizabeth Johnson.
She suggests drawing a Venn diagram to map these questions: What are you good at? What is the work that needs doing? And what brings you joy? Where your answers intersect is where you should put your climate action effort. “Averting climate catastrophe: this is the work of our lifetimes,” Johnson says.
Talk to your newly elected municipal council members about Climate Action.
It is imperative that our next municipal and District Councils take urgent action on the climate crisis to meet the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHGs) goals they have signed onto. All councils in Muskoka have passed Climate Emergency declarations with targets of 50% reduction of GHG emissions by 2030, reaching zero by 2050. These goals are now the law across Muskoka.
Looking for climate action conversation starters? Check out these resources:
- 12-point Climate Action Plan — Ontario Climate Emergency Campaign (scroll down for the 12 points)
- Municpal Environmental Stewardship — Association of Municipalities Ontario
- A New Leaf — Muskoka’s Climate Change Strategy
- CAM — Let’s talk: Municipal Politics.
*** Climate Action Muskoka has sent a list of questions about climate action to all municipal candidates. ***
Join young climate leaders taking the Ontario government to court
September, 2022 – Update – Their case, Mathur et. al. v. Her Majesty in Right of Ontario, has not been without its twists and turns so I’m glad to say that the hearing is finally taking place in Toronto on September 12–14 – Ecojustice.
Sunday, September 11, you are invited to participate in a planned climate rally at Queen’s Park in Toronto in support of the plaintiffs.
Support these young leaders arguing in court that the conduct of the Government of Ontario on climate action has violated the rights of Ontarians under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and that their case is in the public interest.
Sophia, Zoe, Shaelyn, Shelby, Alex, Madison, and Beze brought this lawsuit on behalf of concerned Canadians like you. They argue that when the Ontario government weakened its climate targets it violated the constitutional right to life, liberty, and security of every person in Ontario. If you agree, please sign on to this declaration of support, joining 7,052 others who have done so.
Update: On June 28, 2022, the Superior Court of Justice granted the following groups status in the Youth Court Case: Indigenous Climate Action, the David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights, the Assembly of First Nations, Friends of the Earth, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment and For Our Kids.
More Gas Pollution is Not What Ontario Needs
Please read and then send a message to federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault and your MP asking them to enact a Clean Electricity Standard. Eastern Power is planning a new gas-fired power plant near Sarnia. Their plan to build a 600-megawatt gas-fired power plant near the St. Clair River would increase greenhouse gas emissions at a time when Canada is scrambling to rapidly reduce our out-of-control climate damage.
But wait! Eastern says the new plant will also burn hydrogen. In truth, this is nothing more than putting lipstick on a pig, as the saying goes. 96% of the world’s hydrogen is produced using fossil fuels, and the greenhouse gas emissions of a plant burning hydrogen created from fossil gas will be even greater than those of a gas-fired power plant.
Five Things You Can Do Over the Summer to Protect Ontario’s Environment
More than ever, Ontarians need to keep fighting at every level of government; for laws, policies and decisions that protect the environment, says Phil Pothen of Environmental Defence. Here are five things that all of us can do to make a difference.
- Demand a thorough Federal Environmental Assessment and the rejection of Highway 413.
- Fight sprawl by supporting the approval of more homes in your neighbourhood.
- Demand that your municipal government end exclusionary zoning.
- Get involved in the Municipal Election.
- Celebrate farms and natural areas in our Contested Countryside.
Get the details in the full article here.
Seeking Climate Champions to Run for Municipal Office
Our community needs leadership by climate action informed and committed champions to ensure that every municipal decision over the next four years hastens the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHGs). It is vital that we reach our declared Climate Emergency goal of 50% GHG reduction both quickly and in a just and equitable fashion.
Can you help? Please give serious consideration to running for Council, District Council, Mayor, or Board of Education in your Muskoka municipality.
Information and forms for your municipality are below, including a candidate information video: Town of Bracebridge | Georgian Bay Township and here | Town of Gravenhurst | Town of Huntsville | Lake of Bays Township | Township of Muskoka Lakes
Send a confidential email to CAM leadership if you wish to discuss, at email@example.com. The DEADLINE to file your nomination papers is 2PM on AUGUST, 19, 2022.
Join the campaign to ban fossil fuel ads
Join the campaign to #StopFossilFuelAds led by Canadian Physicians for the Environment (CAPE). Read How Fossil Fuel Ads Make Us Sick, Known Health Hazards of Fossil Fuels, and the group’s three demands; then sign the open letter to the federal government. HERE
“You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”The Talmud
Watch SCAN! OnDemand Webinar Excerpt
Watch this 21-minute excerpt from Doug Ford’s Climate Crimes: A SCAN! “Indictment on 33 Counts” Webinar, which features David Robertson’s overview of the group’s “Ten Climate Reasons to Defeat Ford” and a quick tour of “Doug Ford’s Climate Crimes” webpages. Watch HERE or click image above.
Visit Doug Ford’s Climate Crimes page, with links to 33 climate crime PDF documents.
CAM is featuring a Ford ‘Crime-a-Day’ on our Facebook and Instagram accounts. Watch for our posts featuring the Seniors For Climate Action Now series, and please share. Climate Crime 3 is above. Click image to view corresponding PDF document.
Watch video featuring young Indigenous activists on tackling the climate crisis
View article and watch video (5m:32s) in The Guardian HERE
Review 33 ‘Doug Ford Climate Crimes’
Yes, 33 of them. Carbon pollution…attack on electric vehicles and carbon pricing…violation of Indigenous rights…paving the Greenbelt…and many more.
Thank you to Seniors for Climate Action Now! for detailing 33 Climate Crimes committed by the Ontario Conservatives under the leadership of Doug Ford. They make for important—and compelling—reading.
Earth Day – April 22, 2022 – Invest In Our Planet
This is the moment to change it all — the business climate, the political climate, and how we take action on climate. Now is the time for the unstoppable courage to preserve and protect our health, our families, and our livelihoods.
For Earth Day 2022, we need to act (boldly), innovate (broadly), and implement (equitably). It’s going to take all of us. All in. Businesses, governments, and citizens — everyone accounted for, and everyone accountable. A partnership for the planet.
RBC, Canada’s biggest bankroller of fossil fuels and fossil fuel expansion, held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Toronto, Thursday. People across Canada are going to their local RBC to sound the alarm about the bank’s destructive financing of fossil fuels. We will help shine a light on RBC’s toxic investments and ensure their customers know where the money is going.
As Sophia, our climate strike host in Huntsville put it, “RBC is a powerful organization who could be leaders in innovative green technology!” We must do everything we can to encourage RBC and all the major banks to make this crucial shift. Our futures depend on it.
Join us on Friday April 8 in Bracebridge to send RBC a message. RBC must stop funding climate destruction and the violation of Indigenous rights. CAM will use our regular Friday strike in Bracebridge to send our own message to RBC. Meet at Memorial Park and we will walk to the bank together. RSVP
In addition, or as an alternative, write to RBC’s CEO, David McKay firstname.lastname@example.org to send your personal message.
Share this Climate Spiral
View to the end to see a 3d representation of temperature changes 1880 to 2021. Share this one-minute NASA climate spiral visualization with the Parry Sound Muskoka provincial candidates and ask what they intend to do about the climate crisis.
James Bay Lowlands — The Breathing Lands — The ‘Ring of Fire’
Right here at home in Ontario, mining companies have their eyes set on developing the so-called “Ring of Fire,” a complex of mineral deposits in the remote James Bay Lowlands of northern Ontario, where peat bogs act as one of the world’s greatest carbon storehouses. Proposals to build access roads are being considered. The Ontario government is granting permits for mineral exploration – ignoring calls from several First Nations for a moratorium on all mining-related permitting and development until protection plans are in place. Read more and send a letter to the federal government. We can and need to lead the world in human and environmental protections for resource development in Canada. Get details and find out how you can make your voice heard, from Mining Watch Canada.
Tell Your MP, Reject the Conservatives’ Pipeline Push
March 3, 2022 – This morning, the Conservative Party presented a motion in the House of Commons calling on Canada to fast track and subsidize pipelines as a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It is truly diabolical to exploit a humanitarian crisis to line the pockets of the fossil fuel industry.
Let’s be clear. Building more pipelines will do nothing to help the Ukrainian people. Fossil fuels drive both war and climate change. New pipelines only serve to lock us into more dependence for decades to come.
This is the time to accelerate the transition away from oil and gas and invest in real solutions, like a Just Transition Act, to protect people and our planet. Let’s make sure our MPs know where to stand. This motion will be voted on soon, so call your MP ASAP. Click this CALL YOUR MP Link prepared by 350.org, enter your name, phone number and postal code and 350.com will connect you to your MP’s phone line.
Lobby for Heat Pumps
Our friends at Ontario Clean Air Alliance have prepared a letter asking your MPP to support retrofitting of heat pumps by Ontario homeowners by providing no downpayment, zero-interest loans for their purchase. The greater efficiency of heat pumps means reduction in the need for gas-fired power, reduced GHG pollution and saving dollars at the same time. This is a win-win-win.
We suggest you adapt the letter by adding the loans should also apply to those who retrofit gas furnaces with a heat pump. You fill out the form (which includes entering your postal code) and adapt the letter, and through the whiz-bang magic of computers it automatically gets sent to your MPP (Norm Miller in Parry Sound-Muskoka). It only takes about five minutes. Fill yours out today.
Listen to the podcast
Listen to the Planet Haliburton interview with David Robertson from Seniors for Climate Action Now! titled Ford’s Bogus Climate Plan. With less than 4 months before the June2, 2022 provincial election, it’s time to take stock of Doug Ford’s climate legacy.
Write to your newspaper or political representative
Share your ideas, your passion, and/or your story of climate action with your community and its leaders. (And don’t forget to share with us at CAM, either by emailing us at email@example.com or in the CAM Facebook group or on Instagram @climateactionmuskoka.)
Two ongoing webinar series to check out
A Walk in the Park with Gil is an excellent bi-weekly webinar series in which Gil Penalosa invites knowledgeable international experts to present fascinating stories and successful cases of urban parks around the world.
A new five-part webinar series from Muskoka Steamship Discovery Centre and Friends of the Muskoka Watershed provides a fascinating new look at how we approach sustainability. Discover how Indigenous practises and western science can contribute to a heathier planet.
Community Carbon Challenge New Year’s 2022
CO2, A Direct Result of Consumption
Make this the year you start to decouple your lifestyle from carbon as a fuel and as ‘stuff’ you consume. Every activity, object, and item of food comes with a carbon footprint; that is, the amount of carbon that went into its production and transportation and has already been released into the Earth’s atmosphere. We call this embodied carbon or upfront carbon emissions. These emissions are creating climate heating RIGHT NOW. Every day we make personal choices that either increase atmospheric carbon emissions or reduce them.
As Lloyd Alter says in his new book Living the 1.5 Degree Lifestyle — Why Individual Climate Action Matters More Than Ever, “…CO2 is a direct result of consumption.” (Learn more about the book here. Order the book here [paper or digital].)
So, give some thought to what is enough, what is sufficient to maintain our lifestyle in 2022. Let’s reduce our carbon consumption on a daily basis. A good place to start is by joining 100 other families and 13 Muskoka businesses which have taken on the CAM Community Carbon Challenge. You will find lots of simple, data-backed ideas to help you get started. New ideas are added every few weeks.
Ask Ottawa to designate a Federal Environment Study for the Bradford Bypass Highway.
The Ontario government has exempted itself from due process in building this highway through Holland Marsh and the Green Belt based on a 24-year old Environmental Assessment. Now the only way this highway will get proper scrutiny and environmental study is if the federal government steps in. Write to Steven Guilbeault, Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada.
Read the ‘Posing As Canadian” Report
Dec 8, 2021 – Have you been puzzled by our federal government’s apparent blind spot and heel-dragging when asked to withdraw subsidies for the Alberta Tar Sands and for the Trans-Mountain Pipeline expansion? You will find the answer in this 56-page report on foreign control by Big Oil and Gas and the extent to which their lobbyists are controlling our federal government.
If you are pressed for time, read the 3-page Executive Summary!
Equip Washing Machines With Microfibre Filters, Pass Bill 279
On April 19, 2021, Ontario Private Member’s Bill 279 was introduced. The Bill calls for prohibiting the sale of washing machines that are not equipped with a specified microplastics [microfibre] filter. The first reading has carried, and Georgian Bay Forever is calling on the public to write their local Ontario Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) and voice their support for Bill 279. Support the Bill
Read about the Parry Sound Study – here
Sign the open letter to reconsider the Trans Mountain pipeline
In the past year, the Trans Mountain pipeline (TMX) has been subjected to extreme heat, wildfires, flooding and had sections of construction buried under landslides. All of this is being driven by a climate crisis that will only get worse if TMX is completed. Whatever math Justin Trudeau and his cabinet did when they approved the pipeline, it isn’t holding up. Tell Trudeau and cabinet to pause and conduct a formal, federal review and reconsideration of the pipeline before pumping in billions more public dollars and putting communities and the climate further at risk. Add your name to the open letter.
Energy in Ontario: Interview with Jack Gibbons of Ontario Clean Air Alliance
Ontario’s reliance on natural gas is about to increase as three nuclear plants are going offline (one retired, two to be refurbished) while the provincial government continues to ignore low-cost wind, solar, storage. Former Toronto Hydro Commissioner Jack Gibbons, now the chair of Ontario Clean Air Alliance, speaks with Markham Hislop of Energi Media. Watch. 9m:4s.
If you are concerned about where Ontario is headed, ‘Don’t stew—Do!’ Write to:
- Premier Doug Ford firstname.lastname@example.org
- MPP Norm Miller email@example.com
- Ontario Energy Minister Todd Smith firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you ready to take local action?
Yay! two people have volunteered to approach the Township of Georgian Bay Council and the Town of Huntsville Council to ask them to endorse a phase-out of gas-fired power in Ontario. Bracebridge endorsed 10 months ago! If you want to know why this is vital, read the article below.
Are there any takers to approach Gravenhurst, Muskoka Lakes and Lake of Bays???? We have the letter and resolution prepared should you choose to take up this assignment please contact: email@example.com
Nov 9, 2021 – The Energy Mix
Gas is not a ‘bridge’ fuel but rather a carbon bomb with a huge greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint.
Ask Your Council to Endorse a Natural Gas Phase-Out in Ontario
On January 20, 2021, Bracebridge became the 16th municipality in Ontario to endorse a gas power phase-out in Ontario. Last week, Ottawa became the 32nd. We are making a difference!
CAN YOU HELP?
We are looking for two or three folks to approach the five other municipalities in Muskoka to urge them to join the call for a gas phase-out in Ontario. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss. We can provide direction. Not your cup of tea? You can still help by calling your councillor or Mayor and ask them to join Bracebridge in calling for this phase-out.
Why is this important? Doug Ford plans to increase the greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution from Ontario’s gas-fired power plants by more than 300% by 2030 and by 500% or more by 2040 as the province uses gas to replace aging nuclear plants and to meet growing demand for electricity from population growth and increased electrification (electric cars, home heating).
Low-cost alternatives to cover this need already exist — solar and wind, energy efficiency, and waterpower imports from Quebec. Find out how this can be done at Ontario Clean Air Alliance. >> Helping our climate by phasing-out Ontario’s gas plants.
Four Key Calls to Action to Trudeau before COP26 from Stand.earth and Sum of Us
- Put forward a plan to end fossil fuel subsidies & stop all new fossil fuel expansion
- Deliver a clear timeline and strategy to implement the TRC calls to action and UNDRIP
- Restart the Just Transition consultation and urgently work to develop a transition process that is fair for workers and communities
- Commit to at least 60 per cent reduction of domestic emissions from 2005 levels by 2030
Get more information and find live take action links here – No More Delays
Petition: Urge Party Leaders to Cooperate to Make Progress on Climate and Inequality NOW
The election was incredibly tight. The Liberals won the most seats, but they can’t maintain government without the support of other parties. The Liberals, NDP, and Greens combined have enough seats to form a stable majority. They’ve committed to action on important issues, including bold action to tackle the climate crisis and inequality. It’s a huge opportunity to make progress on the biggest issues of our time. The next 48 hours will set the tone for what’s possible. Please sign this petition calling on the Liberals, NDP and the Greens to cooperate for bold action on climate and inequality. Learn more and sign now.
Wednesday September 8 was Canada On Fire Day of Action
In the midst of a snap federal election and right before the federal leaders’ debates, thousands of people across Canada marched in our own communities. Together we sent a clear and urgent message: the climate emergency is a top priority for voters. We challenge ALL candidates and parties to ramp up their climate ambition.
Calling on CAM Supporters to Help Distribute CCC Posters and Bookmarks
Retired Teachers of Ontario Muskoka District 46 (RTO-ERO) has partnered with CAM to grow participation in the 50% by 2030 Community Carbon Challenge by distributing bookmarks and posters to marinas, shops, markets, churches, libraries and community centres all around Muskoka.
We need your help! We’re looking for volunteers to distribute posters and bookmarks (pictured above, book not included, lol.) to the businesses and organizations in your community. This is a fabulous “one-and-done” opportunity to pitch in. Please contact Joanne Garvey at email@example.com for info and materials. Include your phone number so she can call you back. Thank you!
If you are connected to a workplace/business, please take a poster and bookmarks for your workplace as well. (Additionally, if you haven’t already, please consider having your household participate in this collective challenge to Muskoka.)
CANADA IS ON FIRE! -We need to act like it!
July 29: As extreme heat and out-of-control wildfires grip the country, communities across Canada are rising up to demand real action on the climate emergency from our political leaders. People in Huntsville (pictured here, about 15 came out), Parry Sound and 40+ other communities gathered for this 350.org event to demand emergency-level action on the climate crisis.
We’re bringing the heat of the climate crisis to our Members of Parliament along with demands for action. We know that with an election around the corner, politicians are paying close attention. Dozens of MPs attended their local actions. Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Scott Aitchison was not expected to attend. It’s not too late to call Scott to demand emergency-level climate action. Click here to call. There is a script. It only takes 2 minutes.
CAM endorses Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty
Climate Action Muskoka has endorsed the International Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, joining thousands of municipalities and organizations around the world. Learn more.
Heat and Fires Everywhere
Emma Jackson of 350.org: “I spent my night in Kamloops rolling over every hour to check my phone, scouring Twitter to see whether new areas of the city were being evacuated, including where I was staying. I packed my bags before bed and left them at the door. The evacuation order was lifted and then returned, and then lifted once more. The next morning, my fear slowly dissipated and was replaced by rage — rage towards the oil and gas executives and political elite in this country who continue to pour billions into fossil fuel projects in the middle of a climate emergency.”
Unprecedented heat waves and devastating wildfires are sweeping the country. Canada is on fire because of the climate crisis. We must accelerate Canada’s transition off fossil fuels. Sign the petition to Trudeau.
Read the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Concerned about the burials of children at former residential schools? This is the time to read the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (pdf).
You can also go to Beyond 94: Truth and Reconciliation in Canada, a website by the CBC that includes a video and interactive illustration showing where we are with each of the calls to action. We have a way to go.
Read up on the Huntsville Small/Tiny Homes Proposal
Set aside a bit of time this week to read about and/or view the exciting and innovative Small/Tiny House initiative—which would add 26 affordable homes to the town of Huntsville—proposed by Huntsville Councillor Jonathan Wiebe. In addition to helping to address the housing shortage in Huntsville, his project could become a model for other such projects in Muskoka. Read the Doppler story. Watch the webcast of Wiebe’s presentation. (It’s a bit confusing on the website. Scroll down to Related Videos. See image below. The one you’re looking for is Regular Council – March 22. Councillor Wiebe’s presentation starts at 1:07:30.)
Join the Legalize Tiny Houses and Homes in Muskoka Facebook Group – . Find the group – here.
Eight of Ontario’s most powerful land developers own thousands of acres of prime real estate near the proposed route of the controversial Highway 413, a Torstar/National Observer investigation has found. Read the full story – here.
Provincially Significant Wetlands no longer safe from development
This is an ongoing issue…
Urge the Government of Ontario to respect and uphold protections for Provincially Significant Wetlands and to stop its misuse of Minister’s Zoning Orders.
Over 6,700 emails sent, add your name – here
Say No to Schedule 3 in Bill 257 -March 12, 2021
Buried in The Provincial Government’s Omnibus bill (Bill 257) about broadband internet is Schedule 3 which amends the Planning Act so that Minister’s Zoning Orders (MZOs)—issued by the Minister of Municipal Affairs, with no public input—won’t have to comply with Ontario planning principals. It will be RETROACTIVE.
***Environmental Defence and Ontario Nature, represented by Ecojustice, are challenging this MZO in Divisional Court. The parties assert the Minister unlawfully issued the MZO, which ignores protections for provincially significant wetlands under the PPS and the Planning Act. Faced with this lawsuit, the government is changing the law retroactively to override our right to seek redress in the Courts. Phone MPP Norm Miller and say NO to Schedule 3 in Bill 257: 705 645-8538 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Lobby for Electric Vehicles in Muskoka – March 5, 2021
The demand for electric vehicles is growing. Let’s encourage our local dealerships to bring in more of them by phoning and asking if they have an electric vehicle on their lot that you can come and test drive. If they say no, ask when they will have one available. It’s time to create a demand locally to be able to test drive and to purchase an E-vehicle right here in Muskoka.
Save the Ontario Fire College – Feb 19,2021
This is another example of downloading of service infrastructure by the Ford government onto municipalities and onto the firefighters themselves, who will now be responsible for the costs associated with this training.
Bring The Northlander Back – February 11, 2021
In 2018, Doug Ford and Vic Fedeli promised to restore the “Northlander” passenger rail service between Cochrane, North Bay and Toronto. The Ontario government will shortly be unveiling its budget for 2021, and we want to make sure the funding promised for the Northlander is included.
Please send a letter to your MPP, using the online campaign tool we’ve created, to emphasize the need to act now and keep this promise.
Click here to send your letter
Support the Canadian Business Youth Council for Sustainable Development
The Canadian Business Youth Council for Sustainable Development is a group of business students and young business professionals who believe our business schools are not giving us the necessary knowledge and tools to build a more just, sustainable, and prosperous world.
In response to this, over 65 youth organizations, representing over 500 young leaders have united from coast to coast to build a manifesto filled with 20 statements on the most important topics in sustainability and the future of business.
Climate Action Muskoka has endorsed this Manifesto and we invite you to do the same. Visit their website at https://www.businessyouthcouncil.ca/.
Voice Your Opposition to Minister’s Zoning Orders (MZOs) – February 5, 2021
Minister’s Zoning Orders (MZOs) allow the Ontario government to directly zone land for particular purposes, without notice, without regard for environmental protections and circumventing consultation requirements. Intended as exceptions, their use by the current provincial government to railroad their climate-busting agenda is unprecedented. In the last two years alone, 40 MZOs have been issued by the Ford goverment. The chart below courtesy of
This is a vital issue, not only for Ontario, but also for Muskoka. Take local action. Voice your opposition to the overuse and misuse of MZOs by the Ford government. Here is a prepared letter from the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance and Environmental Defense, ready to be edited with your comments. Be sure to localize it and make it your own, speaking specifically to Muskoka issues. We advise you also to copy and send it using your own email to Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norm Miller email@example.com. Let’s flood his inbox at the same time!
Learn more about MZOs and their use in Ontario, in this article by Environmental Defense from August 2020 here.
DO YOU KNOW HOW YOUR MONEY IS FUELING THE CLIMATE CRISIS?
Fossil Banks No Thanks – Jan 29
On January 29th, we’re running an event called Fossil Banks No Thanks and we’re teaming up with For Our Kids to bring our demands to as many branches as possible. We will be hosting a webinar with Climate Fast explaining the action and the larger campaign on January 24th.
WHY TARGET THE BANKS? Since the Paris Accord the Big 5 CDN banks have pumped near $500 BILLION (USD) into fossil fuel companies, undermining all of our hard work. Our BankSwitch Campaign asks Canadians to contact their branch manager and let them now they will be taking their money elsewhere in April 2021. The Fossil Banks No Thanks Day of Action is designed to spread the word about our banks’ complicity in the climate crisis to a wider audience.
On Earth Day 2021(April 22, 2021), thousands of Canadians are pledging to move their money to a credit union or whichever one of the Big Five cleans up their act first by cutting investments in fossil fuels.
The Big Five Canadian banks are all in the top 25 biggest fossil fuel funders in the world — three of them are in the top 10. Since the Paris Agreement they have poured $481 BILLION into fossil fuels. The tar sands are completely reliant on Canadian banks. [Source: Toronto350.org]
Immediately dismantle the Pickering Nuclear Station after it closes in December 2024
The Pickering Nuclear Station will end electricity production in
December 2024 after 53 years of operation. Pickering is one of the
world’s oldest nuclear stations and is surrounded by more people, within
30 km, than any other nuclear plant in North America.
Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is proposing to defer the dismantling of the Pickering Nuclear Station for 30 years. OPG believes the dismantling will
take approximately ten years, meaning the community will have to wait until 2064 for an opportunity to revitalize this prime waterfront site.
Why shop local instead of online or at big box stores? Here are a couple of articles about why shopping local is better for you, better Muskoka’s economy, and crucially, better for the environment. Why shop local? We got 6 fantastic reasons! — Thriving Locally | What Happens When You Shop Local — Independent We Stand.
(And pssst: in addition to being far more economical, shopping at local second-hand stores is also better for the environment, and your finds are often of better quality. Muskoka’s got awesome vintage and second hand stores. ? )
return to the top of page – here
Read-em and weep department
Bill 229 has passed as amended and has received Royal Assent -Dec 8, 2020
For immediate release: December 4, 2020 – ontarionature.org
Ontario government’s proposed amendments to Bill 229, Schedule 6 are a shocking escalation of attacks on public safety, natural values and safe drinking water
Phone your MPP now. Ask them to remove Schedule 6 from the budget Bill to stop this dangerous attack on the future of our environment.
The Ontario government has just launched an all-out attack on Ontario’s protected forests and wetlands. Hidden in their latest budget Bill is a clause that will take away any control over the protection of our precious wetlands, forests, wildlife habitat and natural spaces from Conservation Authorities, and give huge new powers to developers to push through destructive projects.
On November 5, 2020, the Ontario government tabled omnibus budget measures Bill 229 in the Ontario Legislature, Schedule 6 of which proposes fundamental changes to the Conservation Authorities Act and to the conservation authorities’ role in land use planning.
CELA (Canadian Environmental Law Association) recommends that Schedule 6 not be enacted in its present form and instead be withdrawn in its entirety from Bill 229.
Further, CELA recommends that the Ontario government immediately seek to ensure that the current mandate of the province’s 36 conservation authorities is maintained and enhanced, in order to effectively protect, restore and manage the watersheds where 95 percent of the people of Ontario reside.
Bill 229 is the most recent in a disturbing trend of using omnibus budget measures bills to make substantial changes to environmental laws, thereby sidestepping the public’s right to comment under the Environmental Bill of Rights.
CELA hosted a Webinar November 17, 2020 about the proposed changes to the Conservation Authorities Act contained in Bill 229 now available on You tube here.
Read – ‘The developers are all in control’: Doug Ford’s government moves to limit the power of conservation authorities, sparking fears for the environment– muskokaregion.com -the Toronto Star. Listen – Doug Ford Environmental Impact Assessment with Dianne Saxe – Planet Haliburton Podcast. Write – Norm Miller
Read — more about Minister’s Zoning Orders — MZO’s. – Here
Conservation Authorities Under Threat — Omnibus Bill- Nov 19, 2020
Bill 229, introduced last week by the Ontario government, is the most recent in a disturbing trend of using omnibus budget measures bills to make substantial changes to environmental laws, thereby sidestepping the public’s right to comment under the Environmental Bill of Rights.
Bill 229 includes proposed changes to Conservation Authorities and their role in land use planning that could set back an ecosystem-based approach by decades. Find an easy-to-use form to send an email asking our government representatives to retain the current mandate of the province’s 36 Conservation Authorities HERE. Groups such as the Canadian Environmental Law Association are calling on the government to withdraw Schedule 6 in its entirety from Bill 229. You can also write to Premier Doug Ford and Norm Miller MPP. Get more information from the Canadian Environmental Law Association.
1. When you shop this week, ask for the store manager and (politely) request an alternative to in-store wrapping of goods in plastic. (Items like bread baked in-store, or produce which arrives in bulk and is repackaged in smaller quantities in plastic and on styrofoam trays.) Or you can get the manager’s name and send a letter to be forwarded to head office. Don’t forget to copy your letter to the local news media as an open letter to the editor.
2. Sign this Environmental Defense petition urging the federal government to resist the plastic lobby, which is working hard to undermine the federal government’s efforts to ban some single-use plastics.
Call to Phase-Out Ontario’s Gas-Fired Power Plants – Nov 12, 2020
Kitchener and Halton Hills Councils have called on the Ontario provincial government to phase out gas-fired power plants. Ask your Municipal Council to pass a similar resolution. You can download a draft resolution to send to your council here. You can sign as an individual – here. Read the Ontario Clean Air Alliance‘s report on how Ontario can phase out its gas-fuelled power plants here. | Find your Counsellors → Bracebridge | Georgian Bay | Gravenhurst | Huntsville | Lake of Bays | Muskoka Lakes | District of Muskoka