Commentary

The movement for smart growth marks important anniversary

April 26, 2017   ·   0 Comments

This April 22 marked the 15th anniversary of a bold move that signaled a sea change in the public perception of the countryside – from an area of development-in-waiting to one where rural communities and natural functions were valued and protected. The Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, released on Earth Day 2002 was the cornerstone piece in an emerging “smart growth” movement. It is hard to believe, but just two decades ago ideas like stopping urban sprawl and protecting water supplies were considered radical. Those of us campaigning to protect the Oak Ridges Moraine were often viewed as whackos.

Sustainability should be part of everyone’s vocabulary

The term sustainability is defined as “the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance.” King Township expanded on this and widened its reach to include almost every aspect of community living. While often associated with the environment, sustainability in King is all encompassing. It’s about who we are and where we’re going.

Parenting requires tilting your head a bit

“Be happy. Stop being who you are!” These words came not from a parent or counsellor. These were uttered by my 11-year-old daughter, who tried to get me out of a funk recently. She’s quite astute, even though she’s still struggling with pre-teen emotions and doesn’t really have a handle on grown-up issues.

Mayor urges residents to take pride in their community

Take pride in your community. This is the message I’m hearing – and delivering – at our recent annual Meet the Mayor and Ward Councillor events.

Salaries the biggest cost of running the country

Governments don’t tend to be well oiled corporations. They tend to operate in the red most of the time. Governments, at all levels, are responsible to us, the taxpayers. We elect them and trust them with looking after the public good. Citizens can be quite demanding at times. We ask for high quality roads and transit options; emergency services; health care and police protection. We expect that our garbage gets picked up at the end of our driveway or laneway on time.

Big Brother watching our every move!

Gone are the dark days of the Cold War. The Orwellian future of bleak, government-controlled surveillance never materialized. Or so we thought.

Top regrets should motivate us all

As human beings, regret remains as one of our frailties. That being said, we can avoid the host of emotions associated with regret if, in fact, we leave no stone unturned in our lives.

Earth Day aims to preserve, conserve, renew

The year was 1969. I was in my second year of teaching in Canada when an American environmentalist named John McConnell proposed a global holiday to celebrate peace, justice and the integrity of creation. It was named, simply, Earth Day.

Prejudice feeds on fear and ignorance

Fear and ignorance are two of the most volatile components of our species’ shortcomings. They are largely responsible for some of humankind’s violent history

Simple math paints a real picture

I’m often asked by my children about the importance of mathematics. I tell them that everyone needs simple math to figure out your bills, taxes and the like. Math also helps your brain ignite those neurons responsible for higher order and problem solving.

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