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Environmental Commissioner of Ontario addresses Climate Change

Dr. Dianne Saxe
Commissioner, Dianne Saxe

Climate change. It’s worse than we thought. That was the message we heard from the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, Dr. Dianne Saxe, who joined us on three separate occasions over the past months — a June event in Hamilton and September events at Church of the Incarnation in Oakville and the Jaffari Community Centre in Thornhill.

What will it take to change our behaviours? It’s time to put an urgent climate lens on and commit to procurement, funding, regulations, incentives, policies, permitting, and planning, “because climate changes everything,” the Commissioner said.

One positive idea to hold onto in all this catastrophe, is that being social animals, “we like to work with others towards a good cause,” the Commissioner said, and “religious communities are a particularly good place to have a discussion about not only the economics of climate change, but also the morality.”

The Commissioner praised our programs here at Faith & the Common Good: “I think it is brilliant to use religious communities not only to model sustainable conduct, energy conservation, renewable energy, but also as a place to have a conversation about that among people who already have a basis of trust.”

She also pointed out to participants that municipal and provincial elections are coming up next year. “Elected politicians care a tremendous amount about what they hear from their constituents, and so if we want better policy on climate change, and I think we do, it’s incumbent on everyone to speak up, go talk to your political representatives, ask them what they are doing about climate change, ask them what they could do more, what’s getting in their way, and whether you can help.”


More action items from Commissioner, Dr. Saxe

  • Get ready for what’s coming. We’re in for a wetter and wilder world and we must prepare for such incidents.
  • Speak up. Canadians tend to think that if we know something everyone knows about it already. That’s not true.
  • Share your climate story and talk about the measures you are taking as faith centres, to reduce the carbon footprint. We need to profile and share these stories on our websites and social media channels and show others what we are doing. This act in itself can inspire others to take action for a cleaner and greener environment.
  • Check out our brief videoStewards of our Future (taken at the Oakville event). Also, a slide deck is available on the Environment Hamilton website. More media coverage.

audience at Jaffari Centre

Photo: Jaffari Community Centre in Thornhill

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