Main photo: Climate Action Muskoka members with MP Scott Aitchison (from left), Len Ring, Sue McKenzie, Judy Lewis, Janet Libke with granddaughter Elsie, Scott Aitchison, MP, Tamsen Tillson. (submitted by Climate Action Muskoka)
Citizens concerned about the urgent need for action on the climate crisis recently presented a petition to newly-elected Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Scott Aitchison.
The petition, signed by over 500 Parry Sound-Muskoka constituents, calls for him to work with other parties to begin an immediate transition off fossil fuels with well-paid jobs and leaving no one behind. It calls for a Green New Deal, which basically means decarbonization of the economy. The petition was originally directed to all the federal candidates in Parry Sound-Muskoka.
The group had a very productive conversation with Aitchison about climate action and ways that the federal level of government can collaborate and support municipalities in the transition off fossil fuels. Aitchison expressed his interest in climate action and the need to strengthen federal action on this front.
Len Ring of Gravenhurst expressed his concern that all levels of government did not seem to grasp the urgency of the need for action, citing examples of fires in Australia and California, floods in Europe and the huge one-day loss (11 billion tons) of Greenland ice in August.
“We need to hold the temperature rise to 1.5C as stated by the UN’s IPCC report,” said Ring, “rather than our current trajectory of 3.2C.”
“With each new release of information from the UN, the situation becomes more dire and governments are not taking any kind of action that will meet this catastrophe,” said Janet Libke of Bala. “As a grandmother, I find this particularly disturbing and anxiety causing.”
Sue McKenzie of Gravenhurst discussed the need for long-term funding support for municipalities to help decarbonize local infrastructure, as well as legislation requiring that all spending fits with a low-carbon future. She suggested the need for larger federal subsidies for E-vehicles and support for recharging infrastructure.
Judy Lewis of Huntsville wanted to see increased support for tree-planting programs.
Climate Action Muskoka founder Tamsen Tillson encouraged Aitchison to support and collaborate with the local group and offered the group’s support for anything he wants to do to help the climate.
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