The big sphere represents all the water on the planet including icecaps and glaciers, the next largest sphere represents all the liquid fresh water above and below the surface, the tiny sphere represents the fresh water in lakes and rivers.
September 13, 2016
Topic: ELECTORAL REFORM
This month we will be looking at what the members of the Special Committee on Electoral Reform are doing, and why this is relevant to the concerns of Environment Haliburton!
The Committee has a mandate to recommend to Parliament an alternative to the current voting system (commonly referred to as the First Past The Post system). The time-line is short. The mandate requires that they consult as widely as possible with Canadians.
If you are curious, I suggest you look around on the Committee's website:
Videos of the committee meetings can be watched online (live or after the fact), or you can read the Minutes. I found Meeting No. 18 (the August 30 morning session) particularly fascinating. If you have a couple of hours to spare, I recommend listening/watching. And presumably there will be a transcript ... the tab is labelled 'Evidence' for the meetings where it is available... but that hasn't been posted for Meeting No. 18 as of today.
Whether or not you look up the website, I hope you'll come to join the discussion on the 13th.
I had a look at the Motion, and pulled out the highlights:
Mandate (excerpts from a Motion passed in the House of Commons on June 7, 2016)
– to conduct a study of viable alternate voting systems
– to examine mandatory voting and online voting
– and to assess the extent to which the options identified could advance the following principles:
Effectiveness and legitimacy: … increase public confidence… reduce distortion… strengthen the link between voter intention and the election of representatives
Engagement: … encourage voting… foster greater civility and collaboration in politics… enhance social cohesion… include underrepresented groups
Accessibility and inclusiveness: … avoid undue complexity… support access regardless of physical or social condition
Integrity: … safeguard public trust in the election process… ensure reliable and verifiable results… preserve voter secrecy
Local representation: recognize importance of MPs being connected to communities, understanding local conditions, advancing local needs.
that the Committee be directed to issue an invitation to each Member of Parliament to conduct a town hall in their respective constituencies and provide the Committee with a written report of the input from their constituents to be filed with the Clerk of the Committee no later than October 14, 2016;
that the Committee be directed to consult broadly with relevant experts and organizations, take into consideration consultations that have been undertaken on the issue, examine relevant research studies and literature, and review models being used or developed in other jurisdictions;
that the Committee be directed to conduct a national engagement process that includes a comprehensive and inclusive consultation with Canadians, including through written submissions and online engagement tools;
that the Committee have the power to authorize video and audio broadcasting of any or all of its proceedings; and that the Committee present its final report no later than December 1, 2016.
Rural Transportation Option (RTO) documents can be found here
Saturday September 17, 2016 9:30 am
Want to be a member of EH!?
HOW TO REACH US
1563 Eagle Lake Road
Carolynn Coburn (president)
Terry Moore (vice president)
Heather Ross (past president)
Eric Lilius (treasurer)
'Mieke Foster (note taker)
A Brief History of EH!
EH! Was formed in 2003 from a study group, the County Advisory Committee for the Environment (CACE), established a few years previously by the Haliburton County Council. The Council had set up a number of such groups under a strategic plan but CASE proved to be not entirely appropriate and it dissolved into the independent and not for profit EH! The Haliburton County Development Council provided $500 as start-up funds.
The new organization declared that it would “take a comprehensive view of environmental issues in Haliburton County and will provide a strong voice to encourage positive initiatives and oppose those that could have an adverse effect on the environment.” This statement developed into a mission statement which added, “EH! recognizes and wants to work with the existing organizations that have an interest in specific environmental subjects: forest, wetlands, headwaters, trails, recreation, lake associations etc.”
Its objectives were (and are):
To advocate for and to support others who are advocating for environmental protection and conservation.
To disseminate educational materials and information throughout the county on environmental issues and concerns.
To lobby governments and their agencies to enact legislation and regulations to protect and conserve the county environment.
To support and encourage environmental research in the county.
To join with others in the county, province and nation who are also working for the protection and conservation of the environment.
From the start there was discussion about whether EH! should be incorporated with a formal, hierarchal, regulated structure or should be a loose, informal body of members with few rules, giving an opportunity for every member to express opinions, possibly at length. Incorporation won the day but informality triumphed in the conduct of meetings and in the matter of the logo: this was settled by the toss of a coin. By-laws were drafted and agreed but members drew back from the idea of a code of conduct. The organization was to be managed by a Board elected by members and meeting monthly and there was to be a gathering of members annually (the agm). In practice, in addition to being invited to the agm, all members are informed of meetings of the Board and are welcome, with guests, to take part.
While most members have a general interest in the environment and issues of national and international importance, a greater level of energy has been generated by issues of direct importance to Haliburton county. These include aggregates, wetlands, waste disposal, re-cycling, uranium, septage, water, local food production, pesticides, clean and clear bylaws, the Frost Centre, car sharing , the rail trail and many more. These issues have developed, peaked and waned and the energy level within EH! has been reflected in this progression. Similarly, the level of membership has fluctuated, often in time with local issues. For instance, the spectre of an asphalt plant resulted in an increase in membership, as did the threat of uranium mining. Some of the additional members gained as a result of these and other issues have remained with EH! but generally the level of membership has not increased since 2003 (about 45 paid-up). Interestingly, the lowest membership numbers were in 2007 when the number of issues and projects were in decline: it was at about this time that the reluctance to relieve the principal officers began to be a problem.
When EH! has been operating at maximum energy (which has been most of the time) it has not only, on its own account, drawn attention to issues - it has also given support to many local, more specifically motivated groups. There is a fluidity among members of the community interested in environmental matters. Small groups appear from time to time to address specific issues. Some have been absorbed into EH as sub-committees (sometimes for administrative convenience, sometimes to generate increased influence). Some have faded over time and others have blossomed into separate and effective entities (the Land Trust, for which EH! early on formed a search committee for directors, is a prime example). EH! has been described as an “environmental incubator” collaborating with all the other groups that share its aims. Some new members have come from the absorbed organizations but rather fewer have remained after the resolution or diminishment of their particular issue than might be expected. EH! has worked very closely with the university organization U-Links to initiate and guide a number of research projects within the community. It has published bookmarks and various ambitious brochures, produced articles for the local press, sent a “Green Man” to many local events, sold cloth bags, reviewed the Official Plans of local councils, quizzed council candidates about their views on environmental issues, organized tours, information days and speakers on various subjects, organized an EH Fair and much else. It has affiliations far and wide including the Ontario Environmental Network, Gravel Watch, the Coalition for Equitable Waterflow and, within Haliburton county, the Stewardship Council and other groups. All this in addition to the environmental issues it has pursued.
During all this activity, EH! has built up an administrative structure that shares many of the tasks among a number of members: the finances; the keeping of minutes; membership; the maintenance of a scrap book; a web site and so on.
NEVER BRING FIREWOOD INTO HALIBURTON COUNTY! NEVER TAKE WOOD FROM ONE PART OF THE PROVINCE TO ANOTHER. BURN WOOD THAT COMES FROM WITHIN THE COUNTY IN ORDER TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THE ASIAN LONG-HORNED BEETLE. IF UNCHECKED, THIS BEETLE COULD LITERALLY DESTROY ONTARIO'S
Click on the photo for details.