A new report by the Pembina Institute suggests that residents prefer to live in "location-efficient" areas (i.e., well-thought-out urban developments as opposed to suburbs), but often choose to buy homes in suburbs due to the huge price differential. The report further suggests five policy tools that may aid in reversing this trend:
1. Develop a location cost calculator to inform and educate homebuyers about the cost of their location choices — including all location and transportation costs (e.g., gas, insurance, parking, maintenance) not just debt (e.g., car loan).
Canada's history (and present state) as a place of mines and sawmills and boom-bust cycles has left a lot of pock marks across the landscape. Sometimes someone deals with them, sometimes nobody does.
Marathon, Ontario, has had a string of hazardous materials spilled/leaked/mishandled out of an abandoned sawmill over the last few years, on top of the already dirty history of operation. Said contamination blessed the surrounding area with everyone's favourite friends “Miss Mercury” and “Captain PCB”.
The International Year of Water Cooperation: Restore Our Water International aims to make a global issue local
World Water Day is held annually on March 22rd as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. 2013 has been declared as the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation.
Restore Our Water International (ROWI) is a non-profit organization concerned with the unfolding crisis of rapidly declining water levels in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence basin. Mary Muter, Sierra Club’s Great Lakes Section Chair and ROWI Spokesperson, is extremely knowledgeable about Great Lakes issues and has worked proactively with a broad coalition of organizations and individuals to address environmental impacts.
The IJC meetings on the Great Lakes water levels finished off mid-July with some of its most successful turnouts (read about the Midland meeting, where 600+ people attended). The struggle is not over yet. Please remember that the IJC is accepting public comments via mail by September 30, 2012. It is also important to write your MP with the same message: Restore our water levels!
Before writing your letter(s) please ask yourself these questions:
1. What do 13 unprecedented years of low water levels mean to you economically and environmentally ( eg loss of wetlands and fish habitat, water quality concerns, invasion of Phragmites australis on exposed shorelines)?