We are gathered here in unity of common purpose and with a spirit that has a common Voice:
- We speak on behalf of the Great Forest that cannot speak for herself.
- We speak for the Life in that Forest and for all the Lives that are touched by it.
- We speak for the South March Highlands and all the Forests like her across Ontario and across Canada.
When people form coalitions so that they can speak louder it is a sign that their government isn’t listening.
When people take their government to court it is a sign that their right to fair government was violated.
When people take to the streets in protest it is a sign that their government is failing them.
- We have done all of these things and yet still the Forest cries in pain because the government does nothing.
- How is it possible for any responsible government to knowingly allow the destruction of the most bio-diverse area in their city and in their National Capital?
The true measure of a Leader is how they react to something that is so obviously wrong.
- Do they hide behind the mistakes of others, or do they assume responsibility?
- Do they pass the buck, or do they work to resolve the wrong?
- Do they have the vision to work towards a better outcome?
These are the questions that we ask the Government of Ontario today.
But we must also challenge ourselves too because our governments are just a reflection of ourselves.
The true measure of a Person is taken when they are confronted with something that is so obviously wrong.
The wrong that is being perpetuated in the South March Highlands causes us to question our very relationship with the Land.
- Do we care about Mother Earth and our relationship with the environment?
- Do we ignore what is going on, or do we speak out against it?
- Do we allow the destruction to occur, or do we work to prevent it?
We speak not only for this Great Forest, but also for the new Voice of Canada.
- A voice that says that the protection and preservation of native heritage is important because the First Canadians can teach us many things about this Land.
- A voice that says that we too are an integral part of this natural ecosystem. We do not walk on it, we exist within it and we are only alive because of it.
- A voice that says that our society must return to a “sustainable relationship” with all living beings – regardless of colour, creed, and culture, and with respect for all species of life.
- A voice that says that greed is no substitute for responsibility.
- A voice that says Leadership means taking responsibility to resolve problems through meaningful consultation with ALL stakeholders.
- A voice that cries out for Leadership to protect our wild heritage because it is that very heritage that defines us as Canadians.
- A voice that says that we have lost too many great Forests and that it is now time to draw the line.
If we cannot save the South March Highlands,
- a land with over 20 species-at-risk in it,
- a land that contains immense cultural heritage,
- a land that is integral to the ecology of our National Capital,
- a land that is Sacred to the descendants of the Anishinabe people,
what Hope is there for any other forest or natural place?
The time to act is NOW!
It’s NOT TOO LATE to DO THE RIGHT THING and we ask our Premier do the right thing!
Feb 13, 2011