Maclean’s National Leaders Debate 2015

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Watch the full debate on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSf2__qpeGA

Mr. Prime Minister, if “incomes have been growing in this country“, then why is the standard of living of most Canadian families declining?

I can tell you why. You and your government have deregulated the economy and have removed consumer protection mechanisms that used to ensure fair prices for acceptable quality of products and services. As a result, the cost of living grows faster than the incomes. At the same time, the quality of available products and services is declining, as well.

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Posted in Canada, Economy, Election, Politics | Tagged | Leave a comment

CPAWS’ Report finds Canada lagging behind other countries on wilderness protection

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Dear CPAWS Supporters,

Parks_Report_2015_Cover_ThumbOn Monday, we released our 7th annual Parks Report assessing Canada’s progress towards its international commitment to protect at least 17% of our land and fresh water by 2020, and to improve the quality of our protected areas. This is an important next step towards CPAWS’ long term goal of protecting at least half of our public land and water. The bottom line is that Canada is falling behind most other countries, and urgently needs a plan to catch up!

Only 10% of Canada’s landscape is protected, compared with the global average of over 15%. If Canada continues at its current pace, it will take over 50 years, not five, to achieve 17% protection! With 90% of our landscape in the public domain, action by all levels of government is key to achieving these targets.

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Posted in Canada, Conservation, Environment, Policy

Curious forest

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June 26:  Young buck west of the Trail Centre.  Photo: L. Biegalski  (Click to enlarge)

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Summary update on outstanding issues

magnifyIt’s July 2nd and I have not yet received any meaningful replies from my MPP Ted McMeekin, Mayor of Hamilton Fred Eisenberger, or Ward 13 Councillor Arlene VanderBeek regarding construction projects in environmentally sensitive areas of Dundas Valley, violation of construction permit limits, lack of law enforcement, and possible corruption in issuing and implementing building permits. These issues should be investigated and taken care of but, unfortunately, officials responsible for enforcing rules and policies are not willing to help. Why? Are they part of the corrupted system?

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Life will not be defeated!

Deer-4 June 14: Newborn fawn near Merrick Line, DVCA. Photo: L. Biegalski. (Click to enlarge)

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Update 5 – Correspondence with Ted McMeekin’s constituency office

magnifyBelow, please find today’s letter from Mr. McMeekin’s Constituency Office in Waterdown, Ontario, followed by my reply. Mr. McMeekin is a Liberal MPP for the area in question and currently serves as the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing in the Ontario government.

Lech,

Ted has asked me to inquire to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for a response. Please see below.

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Update 4 – Asking Ted McMeekin, Fred Eisenberger, and Arlene VanderBeek for their reply, input, and action

magnifyOn two occasions, I have asked my MPP Ted McMeekin, Mayor of Hamilton Fred Eisenberger, and Ward 13 Councillor Arlene VanderBeek for their reply, input, and help, and did not receive any. I am a resident of Dundas and a voter in their respective constituencies. As I understand our political system, at least in theory, these three officials represent their consituencies in the City of Hamilton and in the Legislative Assembly in Ottawa. They are, therefore, accountable to their voters.

My letters and telephone inquiries addressed to Mr. McMeekin, Mr. Eisenberger, and Ms. VanderBeek were sent to them in mid-April and at the beginning of May. They dealt with protection of Dundas Valley wildlife and ecosystem, with development and construction in environmentally sensitive areas of Dundas Valley, with enforcement of building permit limits, and also with a provincial law requiring landlords not to switch from heating to air-conditioning in apartment buildings before May 15.

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Posted in Ancaster, Conservation, Deer Hunt, Development and Construction, Dundas, Dundas Valley, Ecosystem, Environment, Flamborough, Government of Ontario, Hamilton

Update 3 -To Ted McMeekin: This is an urgent matter, I need you to respond

McMeekinDear Mr. McMeekin,

Over a week ago, I called your constituency office in Waterdown and inquired about a provincial law requiring that landlords of apartment buildings switch from heating to air-conditioning not earlier than on May 15 each year. This is an old law that has been in place for more than 30 years. It does not take into account the global warming. My question was, “Can this law be corrected to reflect the climate change?”

In our apartment building, we have many elderly people, some with a severe heart condition. A few years ago, an elderly tenant died of heart attack during a heat wave, before the air-conditioning was switched on. This past week, we had temperatures of 24 – 29 degrees Celsius – (which felt much higher inside the building), while the “normal” temperature for this time of the year is around 17 degrees. I need to know what can be done to change the law in order to prevent more tragic deaths and to create humane conditions for all tenants.

When I called your Waterdown office, I spoke to a female employee. She took my telephone number and promissed that “somebody from the ministry” would call me back. Nobody has called me, yet. I would like my MPP to contact me and advise me what can be done to resolve this issue. This is an urgent matter, one that cannot wait for months.

Thank you, in advance, for your time and help,

Lech Biegalski

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Update 2 – Development and construction in environmentally sensitive parts of Dundas Valley

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Deer in Dundas Valley Conservation Area. Photo: Lech Biegalski. (Click to enlarge)

In response to my post, Protection of Dundas Valley Deer and Ecosystem Neglected by Officials, I have received an email from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Guelph District – (posted below). In particular, the MNRF confirms that responsibility for planning and enforcement “on matters of provincial interest related to land use planning and development” lies with the City of Hamilton and with the Niagara Escarpment Commission. I am, therefore, asking the Mayor of Hamilton Fred Eisenberger, the Ward 13 Councillor Arlene VanderBeek, our local MPP Ted McMeekin, and the Niagara Escarpment Commission for their substantive opinion and information on what they can and will do:

  • to better protect environmentally sensitive land in Dundas Valley;
  • to stop new development that keeps cutting deeper and deeper into the habitat and remaining natural areas of Dundas Valley;
  • to enforce existing construction/development limits;
  • to effectively control and immediately stop violations of current development permits.

A previous reply from the Office of Mayor Eisenberger – (See HERE) – was both misleading and unsatisfactory. I have sent additional inquiry but have not received any further correspondence from the Mayor. Until today, I have also not received a substantive reply from our Councillor Arlene VanderBeek, or any replies at all from the Niagara Escarpment Commission and from Ted McMeekin, our local MPP and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing responsible for the Land Use Planning and for overseeing the implementation of both the Provincial Policy Statement [Link 2] and the Planning Act.

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Posted in Ancaster, Conservation, Deer Hunt, Development and Construction, Dundas, Dundas Valley, Dundas Valley Conservation Area, Ecosystem, Environment, Hamilton, Hamilton Conservation Authority

2015 Paris to Ancaster Bike Race

The 22nd annual Paris to Ancaster Bike Race took place last Sunday, April 26th. Weather cooperated – the course was dry and fast, except for the usual muddy sections.

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Bob Haufler (#553) of Midweek Cycling Club leads a small group of Wave 1 riders on Paris to Cambridge Rail Trail

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