Over the last few months, Waterkeeper has brought you stories of numerous communities suffering from environmental wrongs: Hamilton, Port Hope, Oshawa, Toronto, among others. In every case, local residents fight for one right: a voice, and someone to listen.
It is for this reason that our participation in this year's ideaCITY conference was a beachhead for Lake Ontario. Moses Znaimer's three-day celebration of ideas is billed as a, "celebrated venue where interesting people say important things about the world." Waterkeeper Alliance president, Robert Kennedy Jr., spoke on the last day of the conference and at a private brunch on Saturday.
Through the generosity of Mr. Znaimer and the eloquence of Robert Kennedy Jr, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper had the privilege of sharing our ideas with a diverse group of individuals. Their overwhelming enthusiasm underscored how vital fair, open forums are to the survival of our communities: Democratic forums foster creativity and a competitive edge - without them, we are locked into outmoded industrial structures.
Since Lake Ontario Waterkeeper was launched in 2001, every single request for an independent hearing made in every community on Lake Ontario has been denied. Events such as ideaCITY promote the transfer of ideas and give a voice to communities who have been denied due process.
A voice, and someone to listen: it's such a simple idea. Thanks to everyone who makes it possible.
Lake Ontario Waterkeeper believes that our environmental laws matter because they protect ancient rights to swim, drink, fish, and access our waterways. We know that our waterfront communities are blessed with assets and heritage, and that the enforcement of environmental laws and protection of our ancient rights will make our communities rich.
That's our idea. The fact that Waterkeeper Alliance is now the fastest growing environmental movement in North America tells us it just may be a good one.