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New climate

If this last month has taught us anything, it is, climate change is an issue which needs to be top of mind for municipalities and the federal and provincial governments.

As everyone reading this is surely well aware, Ontario has been experiencing a very smoky start to the summer season, due to wildfires across Canada. In mid-June, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit’s medical officer of health, said these wildfires caused the “first air quality event of this magnitude which has impacted across all of HKPR at the same time as most of South Eastern Ontario.” This was after the health unit announced the Air Quality Health Index had been moved to ‘High Risk’ in Kawartha Lakes.

On Wednesday, June 28th, the air quality ranking in Toronto went from sixth worst in the world to worst in the world, according to air quality tracker IQAir. Experts are also projecting this year to be the worst all-time for Canadian wildfires.

But it’s not just wildfires which evidence a change in climate across the country. I’ve lost track of the number of windstorms I’ve experienced in the last few years alone, including the derecho of last year. In that same event, a tornado ripped through Uxbridge, causing damage across the Township.

Every year, it seems, in cities across Ontario, there are days which set new record high temperatures. It’s no wonder, in the last couple of years, we’ve seen a local group of individuals hold walks through Port Perry’s downtown core to call for more action on climate change. The Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation have also been strong advocates in the fight against climate change. With all of these weather events, it’s hard to deny the climate of the world is shifting and changing.

While there has been some action on green initiatives, from local, provincial and national governments, it seems there is a need for climate change to take higher precedence in decision-making. I feel, all governments need to make greater commitments to environmental action.

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