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Local high school students bring their thoughts to Kawartha Lakes council


DAN CEARNS The Standard


KAWARTHA LAKES: Two local I.E. Weldon Secondary School students addressed Kawartha Lakes Council recently in support of the City’s environmental initiatives.

At Council’s last Committee of the Whole meeting, Aden Addison and Evelyn Pascoe discussed climate change and the City’s Healthy Environment Plan.

“We have seen the City of Kawartha Lakes support the Healthy Environment Plan by hiring an Environment Policy Planning Organizer. This Council has had trees replanted in parks and throughout the City. And the City of Kawartha Lakes is a Bee Friendly City and has recently become a Bird Friendly City,” Mr. Addison said.

Ms. Pascoe noted, “Although these are important steps in the right direction, all levels of government need to take action on environmental issues.”

“We, as youth of this community, are supposed to have hopes and dreams for the future. Instead, we worry. Beyond worry, we have anger, frustration, sadness, grief and anxiety. Children and young adults worldwide are losing their rights as youth. Clean air, clean food and safe water are no longer guaranteed,” Ms. Pascoe added.

Mr. Addison pointed to local impacts such as the impact of wildfire smoke during the last summer, a damaging hail storm and “windstorms which crippled infrastructure.”

“By acting locally, we can make impacts globally. Supporting another natural gas pipeline development, which will last over 40 years when we know there are other alternatives, makes little to no sense to this generation who wants to safely live here on this planet. Filling wetlands to allow for expansive, non-affordable housing developments means loss of biodiversity and carbon sinks,” Ms. Pascoe said.

The presentation was lauded by Kawartha Lakes Mayor Doug Elmslie.

“Sometimes I despair about our youth, and then I go to things like the Legion’s speaking contest where there were a number of young folks who just blew me away with what they did. And again today, you come here, and you speak the way you do, and you’re obviously passionate and engaged in what you do. It gives me great hope for the future.”

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