Friday, June 17, 2022

Photos of Toronto Islands and Lake Ontario

 Here are some photos taken around the Toronto Islands and Lake Ontario on a beautiful June day last week.  I hope you enjoy them.  Above is a photo of the Centre Island pier, by Lake Ontario, looking east.

- Joanne

Centre Island ferry docks.

Centre Island, looking west, beach

Fountain, Centre Island

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Read this before your vote in tomorrow's Ontario election

The province of Ontario has a population of more than 15 million people, more than many countries.  Ontarians go to the polls tomorrow to decide who governs this province, perhaps for the next four years.  The stakes are high and the election is of utmost importance.

According to the polls, Doug Ford's Progressive Conservatives have a strong lead and are poised to win a second majority government.  On one major issue alone, the Ford government does not deserve to be re-elected.  That issue is the controversial Highway 413, also known as the GTA West Corridor.  The new highway would connect Milton and Vaughn.  It would be 59 kilometres long and destroy over 566 hectares (1.400 acres) of Greenbelt, according to Environmental Defence, a climate change group.  Environmental Defence says that that Highway 413, if built, would add 17 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, causing $1.4 billion  in damages from pollution.

Highway 413 would damage archaeological sites and leave a negative impact Indigenous ceremonial and burial sites, destroying their sacred cultural heritage of the Credit First Nation's territory in Mississauga.  It would also be disastrous for the Holland Marsh, resulting in higher prices for U.S. produce.   

The Ford government brags about how it has eliminated licence plate renewal fees and stickers.  At a time of high inflation, many people like the idea of saving some money.  However, they don't see the forest for the trees.  That money will have to be replaced.  It will have to come from somewhere.  Once re-elected, the PC government will make cuts to health and education.  Everyone will pay the price for that, especially lower income Ontarians, many of whom believe the licence plate renewal scam actually benefits them.  

If, as expected, Ford's Tories win a majority government, the consequences will be dire.  The Tories will unleash a series of massive cuts.  There will be nothing holding them back.  We will all suffer in the long run when lower income people are less healthy and less educated,

Unfortunately, Ford's bluster seems to be working.  Please don't fall for it.  Think about the future.  .  Think about the environment and climate change.  We're experiencing more floods and unstable weather every year.  Don't forget about the importance of education and healthcare.  Our children have suffered a great deal during the pandemic and many will need more help then others.  

If the Tories wins a majority, people will be ready to throw them out in four years.  They will be sick and tired of them by 2026.  Unfortunately, a lot of damage can be done to Canada's largest province in four years.

- Joanne

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

The Second Amendment


A racially-motivated mass shooting at a store in Buffalo.  Another mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas.  This is not what the Second Amendment intended.  This is not the so-called American dream.  The GOP and the NRA have blood on their hands.  They are responsible for the slaughter of innocents.  This can't continue.  America needs sensible gun control laws now!  

Americans are not free if they are not safe.

- Joanne

Monday, May 23, 2022

Good News About the Environment from Australia


In the past three weeks, tens of thousands of Australians have had to evacuate their homes after devastating floods struck the eastern part of the country.

Some regions experienced their worst flooding in decades, as torrential rain submerged residential areas, cut power lines and caused reservoirs to swell past the bursting point, resulting in tens of millions of dollars in damage.

New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet called the floods a “once-in-a-thousand-year event.”

But experts say climate change is fuelling an increase in extreme weather across Australia, threatening to make bushfires, floods and droughts more common.

               - United Nations Environment Programme website, "Australia: After the bushfires came the floods," March 17, 2022

After more than two years of COVID, along with the inhumanity of  Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine, I relish any good news that I can find.  Today I found some from Down Under,  After nine years of conservative government, the people of Australia have opted for a different approach in the battle against climate change.  Australians want action on climate change and they have made a move in the right direction.  They have experienced enough of blistering heat, bushfires and floods, The temperatures in January, when the Australian Open tennis tournament is held, are almost unbearable.

For too long, Australia has lagged behind on climate change.  For too long, it has been dependent on fossil fuels.  The results have been devastating.  In addition to fires, floods and drought, environmentalists are also concerned about the Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven natural wonders of the world.  The Great Barrier Reef suffered its sixth mass bleaching in March, due to heat stress caused by climate change.  Biologist Neal Cantin of the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) reported the following: "More than half of the living coral cover that we can see from the air is severely bleached completely white and can have signs of fluorescence in the colours of pink, yellow and blue."

On May 21, 2022, Australian voters delivered a clear message to their leaders.  The environment matters to them and they want stronger action on climate change. That's why the country's Liberal-National coalition government was defeated.  That's why the Green Party, under the leadership of Adam Bandt, recorded its best ever election result.  There was a swing toward candidates who called for emissions cuts far above those promised by the government in power.  

Amanda McKenzie, CEO of the research group the Climate Council, stated that "climate action was the winner of the vote  "Millions of Australians have put climate first.   Now it's time for a radical reset on how this great nations of ours acts upon the climate challenge," she remarked.

The prime minister-designate of Australia is Anthony Albanese, 59, leader of the Australian Labor Party.  Albanese is a a prominent advocate of renewable energy and has said that "Australia's ling-term future lies in renewable energy sources."  

Many conservatives of the far right don't think climate change is a serious problem.  However, conservatives should be in the forefront of the battle against climate change.  To "conserve" means to "preserve."  Therefore, by the very nature of their beliefs, conservatives should want to "preserve" the earth's environment.  Unfortunately, that's not how many who call themselves "conservatives" see things, especially Republicans in the United States.

- Joanne