As Niagara Possibly Leave the Pandemic, the Old Norm of Destroying More of Our Natural Heritage Returns
A Brief Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted March 21st, 2022 on Niagara At Large
Welcome to the first full day of spring in Niagara – a day when some of us celebrate a season of renewal that includes the budding of trees and the nesting of birds and other wildlife.
How silly, How naive of us.
What a bunch of “tree huggers,” “eco freaks,” “dickie bird lovers” and (even worse in this world of upside down, alternative realities we now live in) what a bunch of “conservationists and (ever worse than that) “environmentalists.”
Please God, this spring,- in the year 2022, in this Niagara region of Ontario, don’t call us conservationists or environmentalists.
The real power goes to those who fire up those big dozers and backhoes, and the chainsaws that take down trees that stand in the way of paving over more green space for urban growth. So much for tree buds and nesting season.
Welcome to Niagara, Ontario, where the tree huggers, bird watchers and nature trail hikers can call up one or more bodies at any level of government all they want, and find out that the land speculators and developers denuding land in and around places like Thundering Waters Forest in Niagara Falls and Waverly Woods in Fort Erie are not necessarily doing anything legally wrong.
They have hardly ever done anything necessarily wrong in Niagara, Ontario which is why this region remains a popular playground for developers who could not give a flying fig about wetlands or trees.
Welcome to springtime in Niagara, 2022.
It appears to be yet another springtime in Niagara where the pre-pandemic old norms, where urban developers can get back to an old norm of blowing away virtually any woodlands or wetlands they want., and where virtually any government body we conservationists or environmentalists call about it come off as feckless or weak.
It is a world where the Gods of Growth – bound, bent and determined to turn Niagara into a bedroom community for a GTA property speculators have over-priced tfor everyone but the upper one per cent – now move to gut (with the help of Ontario’s Ford government) in the name of a false God – more affordable housing.
And the gutting just goes on and on in a region of Ontario that, per capital, already has one of the lowest canopies of trees and one of the lowest number of wetlands for supporting wildlife and fighting climate change.
As someone who is proud to call myself an environmentalist, I find it sickening to live in a region that, more than half a century after the first Earth Day, still cares this little about protecting the environment.
Doug Draper, Niagara At Large
To read a recent related story on trees being knocked down around Waverly Woods in Fort Erie, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2022/03/15/destruction-at-waverly-woods-erie-beach-in-fort-erie-niagara/
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