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First, a positive idea that I read in Maclean’s. This project started in British Columbia, but we could do it here.

Have you ever passed someone’s garden and noticed that the apples/pears/berries were not all being picked? Have you ever wanted to stop and ask if you could pick some?

Well, a lady in B.C. did stop. She shared the cherries she picked with friends and relatives. Now there are several projects in which volunteers pick unwanted fruit, give one third to the owner, keep one third for themselves and donate one third to a food bank or the needy.

I think this is a great idea. I challenge invite you to think about your garden or one you see regularly. How could you organize volunteers to share the extra food? You have until next summer to plan.

Second, a rant. I do not get upset with mistakes we, individuals and governments, made in the past because of our lack of concern for the environment.

However, we now have much more knowledge. We are supposed to do environmental assessments on projects to figure out what could happen and how to mitigate problems.

Recently I found out about the changes to the Navigable Water Protection Act, which occurred last January. The NWPA protects the public’s right to navigate the country’s waters and also acts as a trigger for federal environmental assessments of construction projects such as bridges and dams.

Now a small tangent: One thing I dislike about the American political system is their omnibus bills. They lump many issues together in one bill: e.g., an environmental issue, an economic issue and a transportation issue. Different politicians vote in favour of the bill because they like one section is their pet issue.

Changes to the NWPA were attached to the Budget Implementation Act. None of the opposition parties demanded the separation of the two issues. So since no one wanted to defeat the government and have an election, the omnibus bill went through. A similar combining of bills in 2005 was stopped by the opposition at that time!

So now, projects that cost less than $10 million are exempt from federal review and can be exempt from environmental assessments. So are the politicians really concerned about our environment, especially long-term issues? It is your children and their children who will be affected more than us.

Yours environmentally.

Geographic location: British Columbia

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