“This is the biggest crisis facing us in our lifetime. Make no mistake about it. And do you know who gets it? Our kids get it. Our grandkids get it. … Do not allow old, white politicians to destroy our planet. That has to stop.” – from comments Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates made earlier this May, 2019 in the Queen’s Park legislature in Toronto, Ontario
Posted May 24th, 2019 on Niagara At Large
A Brief Foreword from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –
This May 13th, following a motion tabled by Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Party’s to join other regions around the world, including cities like St. Catharines and Hamilton that have already done it, and provinces, states and entire nations, and declare a “climate emergency” in Ontario, one of the party’s members, Wayne Gates of Niagara Falls, delivered some passionate words on the subject that Niagara At Large would like to share with our readers here.
Gates was particularly strong in his plea to people his age and older to start showing more concern in the climate crisis confronting us – the kind of concern he says he sees and hears when he meets and talks to young people in his Niagara Falls riding and other parts of the province.
We believe that his words need to be shared and taken to heart by all of us before it really is too late to avoid an environmental nightmare for present and future generations.
Here is a full transcript of what Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates had to say on the subject in the Ontario legislature this past May 13th –
Ontario Hansard – 13-May2019
Mr. Wayne Gates: “I just want to start by saying, why are we here today with a climate emergency? Twenty NDP MPPs are speaking on this—some very emotional; some passionate; some talking about what we’re doing. And what do I get from the other side? Playing on their phones and not paying attention.
This is the biggest crisis facing us in our lifetime. Make no mistake about it.
And do you know who gets it? Our kids get it. Our grandkids get it.
Every school I go to—and I could be talking about anything—the minute I mention the environment, the kids applaud. They say, “You finally get it. Somebody’s talking about it.”
Do not allow old, white politicians to destroy our planet. That has to stop. That has to stop.
You have to understand. And if somebody tells me that it’s not real, go talk to the people in Quebec, where people died last year because of the heat; go talk to people in Ottawa today who are losing everything; go talk to the people in Fort Erie, Niagara-on-the-Lake, where we’ve had floods. This is the biggest crisis. We must support it (a provincial declaration of a climate emergency).
And by the way, it isn’t just the NDP that’s putting this out. City after city is saying that we now have a climate emergency.
Everybody’s wrong but that group over there. And I want to say to my colleague who talked about First Nations: We don’t have to go up north to talk about the crisis we have. We can go right to Brantford, where they’ve been boiling their water for 16 years because they don’t have clean water in the richest province, in Ontario.”
This May 23rd, Gates’ party made an additional call on an Ontario Ford Government that still doesn’t show any real signs of understanding the climate emergency that we collectively face to at least strike a special select committee for development strategies to address climate change.
Here is the news release the Ontario NDP/Official Opposition Party released this May 23rd on that subject –
NDP calls on Ford to strike select committee on climate change
QUEEN’S PARK — Peter Tabuns, Ontario NDP Energy and Climate Change critic, will introduce a motion calling on the Ford government to strike a select committee on climate change with representation from all parties. The committee would be tasked with immediately developing comprehensive provincial strategies to reduce emissions and an action plan to address climate change-related threats to Ontario’s environment, society and economy.
Tabuns’ call comes as communities across Ontario grapple with the consequences of climate change with increasing frequency and intensity. Ottawa-area residents are recovering from devastating flooding, Toronto Island residents are sand-bagging their homes to shore them up against rising water levels on Lake Ontario, and tornadoes ravaged eastern Ontario while wildfires have ripped through the north with more intensity in recent years.
“More and more, Ontario families are going to find themselves in situations where they’re forced to flee their homes on a moment’s notice if we don’t act now to dramatically reduce carbon emissions,” said Tabuns. “Each flood, tornado and wildfire that ravages our province adds to the growing imperative for Ontario’s leaders to come together in common cause in the fight against climate change.
“Our best hope of keeping people, homes and businesses safe in Ontario is to stop climate change from accelerating.”
Tabuns’ call for an all-party select committee follows a motion from Andrea Horwath calling on the Ford government to declare a climate emergency, which the Conservatives shot down. And with the clock ticking in the race to stop climate change, the Ford Conservatives have dismantled measures that would have helped reduce carbon emissions, like cap and trade and conservation programs.
“Andrea Horwath and the NDP will continue to call on the Ford government to do the right thing, and work collaboratively with all parties to fight climate change,” said Tabuns. “Nothing less than a livable future in our province hangs in the balance, and we won’t give up on the fight for meaningful action in the face of one of humankind’s greatest challenges.”
To read a story Niagara At Large posted earlier this May 19th on the Ontario NDP’s call on the Ford Government to join other regions around the world in declaring a “climate emergency” in the province, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2019/05/09/ontario-ndp-tables-motion-to-declare-climate-emergency-in-province/ .
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