Year Out/Year In Review/Preview

Change–Everything’s changing, everything’s topsy-turvy. They say change is the only constant in the universe. We want things both to change and to remain the same. Below are some examples of sustainability changes in 2012 and ahead.

The David Suzuki Foundation writes that 2012 was a difficult year, but ‘more Canadians are standing up for nature and democracy than ever before.’ It sponsored a national Environics poll that identifies a ‘huge gap between Canadians and [their] government on climate change.’

Peter Robinson and Dr. Faisal Moola of the David Suzuki Foundation say, ‘The growing [Idle No More] movement was sparked by concern over the weakening of environmental laws and undermining of Aboriginal governance with Bill C-45. Along with the ongoing hunger strike by Chief Theresa Spence [of Attawapiskat], this is evidence that despite old lofty commitments, Canada must do far more to engage First Nations, Inuit and Métis in a manner that is respectful and conducive to reconciliation.’

Writing in the Ottawa Citizen of Idle No More, M’ikmaq lawyer and professor Dr. Pamela Palmater says, ’14 pieces of legislation was drafted, introduced and debated [affecting First Nations] without First Nation consent.’ She adds that ‘although Idle No More began before Chief Spence’s hunger strike, and will continue after, her strike is symbolic of what is happening to First Nations in Canada. For every day that Spence does not eat, she is slowly dying, and that is exactly what is happening to First Nations, who have lifespans up to 20 years shorter than average Canadians.’

Bullfrog Power announced that it is partnering with Solarshare to bring more renewable solar energy to the Ontario electricity system. Locally, Simcoe Huronia Association for Renewable Energy (SHARE) is partnering with Options for Green Energy to bring you community-owned renewable energy.

Also locally, over two thousand Christmas dinners were served to those in our community less fortunate. On Dec 17 Phil’s Diner held its annual free Christmas dinner. As well, plates were prepared for takeout, and meals were set aside for delivery. The Gift of Grace and the Penetanguishene soup kitchens welcomed many. The Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul distributed hampers. Wendat, the Native Friendship Centre, Covenant Church, and Out of the Cold served hundreds.

In 2012 Out of the Cold opened its doors, this time never to shut them as long as a need exists. To serve its guests year-round, Out of the Cold is renovating the top floor of Knox Church’s old Education Wing.

Concerned citizens in Midland stopped the cutting down of one of the oldest urban trees in 2012 and hopefully helped launch the development of arboreal bylaws in 2013.

Taking care of people and trees in our community is part of our future.

In Penetanguishene, Karma Marketplace with the assistance of the Ontario Cooperative Association is changing from a sole proprietorship to a community-owned cooperative.

Music changes too. Like many Canadians, I’m imprinted with Anne Murray singing ‘Snowbird‘. How different, how poignant is the composer’s daughter’s version. Or this one by Kathleen Edwards and Bahamas.

Finally, a few words about the end of the world. Maybe it did end, but no one noticed. Or maybe it’s not the end that people were thinking of–maybe it’s not a physical end, but a–I don’t know–spiritual end. Or maybe it’s just the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning, or both, and there’s plenty more to come. Whatever. The thing is, end or not, I’m still here and you’re still here. Now what? Remember, it’s all loose change.

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