climate change

20 petitions

Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to City of Richmond BC - Mayor and Councillors

Limit House Sizes on Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) in Richmond, B.C.

It’s time to look beyond the aisles of the local supermarket and recognize that farmers are vital for food security and are the heart of Canadian industry and life. Canadian farmers are the top global producers of flaxseed, durum wheat, lentils, canola, pulses, peas, and mustard seeds. Last year, Canadian fruit and vegetable farmers added $1.8 billion dollars to the economy and employed over 2 million Canadians. Moreover, Canada is the 5th largest exporter of food in the world. Undoubtedly, Canadian farmers are remarkable and contribute in countless ways to Canada’s economy. They ensure that we have access to quality food. We owe a great deal to the hard work of those farmers who toil every day to put food on our tables. It is for this reason that swift action must be taken to prevent people from taking advantage of farming incentives meant for people who are actually contributing to the farming industry. Richmond is facing challenging issues concerning illicit property uses on land reserved for agriculture. Because of a controversial city council decision (with the exception of councillors Carol Day and Harold Steves) it is now possible for buyers – who, if we are honest, are speculators – to build extravagant estates on farmland. In doing so, they are gaining two benefits at the expense of local farmers: bypassing residential lot guidelines and pricing policies, and avoiding British Columbia’s new foreign-buyer 15 percent residential tax. To put the problem into perspective, the City of Richmond allows 10,794 square feet (1,000 square metres) mega-mansions on land designated as farmland. This is twice the maximum size recommended by the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture. To suggest that a nearly 10,794 square foot dwelling, with a ten-car garage, a twenty-five-seat theatre, tennis court, swimming pool, and 15 bedrooms or more is a “farmhouse” is absurd. Based on our respect for local farmers and their outstanding work, we should be advocating that the provincial 5,382 square feet (500 square metres) maximum farmhouse guidelines are upheld and formalized into law.  Special exemptions should be rare, only made for legitimate farmers, and issued on a case-by-case basis. It is time for us to act, now, and preserve our precious farmlands and hold our City Council to account. Richmond has some of the best farmlands in all of British Columbia, and we must do everything in our power to protect the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) and ensure our future residents’ food security. ~ Jack Trovato THEREFORE: We, the undersigned, citizens of the City of Richmond, are concerned about the threat to our Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). The recent decision of Richmond City Council to allow mega-mansions to build up to 10,794 square feet (1,000 square metres) is double the provincial recommended maximum size, and nearly triple the maximum recommended size per City staff recommendations. Provincial guidelines specifically state that house sizes on ALR lots should be sized appropriately to divert development to city lots. As the current bylaws stand, large home development is diverted onto farmland. We petition the City of Richmond to: □   Implement a moratorium on new applications to build on ALR lots until; □   A maximum house size of 5,382 square feet (500 square metres) is expediently adopted as bylaw.

Richmond Citizens' Association (RCA)
3,088 supporters
Started 1 week ago

Petition to Kathleen Wynne, Minister Kathryn McGarry

Save the Ontario Tree Seed Facility

There are no forests without seed. After 94 years of invaluable contribution to reforestation and for the public good, the Ontario Tree Seed Facility is scheduled to close in September 2018.The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry proposes that tree seed collection, processing and storage be left to the private sector. This decision was made internally by the OMNRF with no public consultation and came as a shock to municipal officials, forestry stakeholders, the community and environmental organizations. This contravenes Premier Wynne's stated goal: "We want to be the most open and transparent government in the country." Both public and private sector experts have vehemently disagreed with the internal government decision and have expressed their concern: "This decision takes Ontario in a direction opposite to jurisdictions who recognize tree seed processing and banking as an essential social service to help adapt to climate change." "We had hoped that [the OTSF] would not only continue, but be enhanced, in service to Ontario's forests, which face the triple threats of overdevelopment, invasive alien species and climate change." (Forest Gene Conservation Association)  AWARE Essa and the Friends of Utopia Mill and Park respectfully request that Premier Kathleen Wynne and Minister Kathryn McGarry: Put on hold any actions on the closure of the Ontario Tree Seed Facility. Begin a comprehensive public review to explore innovative ways to revitalize the OTSF. This review should include: expert analysis of the real value of the Tree Seed facility and the vital service it provides in seed collection, processing and storage. Tracking seeds by seed zones gives native trees a genetic link to local conditions that improves forest resiliency an assessment of the  key role that OTSF plays in mitigating and adapting to climate change and increasing habitat to promote biodiversity   recognition that the private sector alone cannot meet the challenges of ensuring the resilience of Ontario's forests acknowledgment of the unique expertise of Ontario Tree Seed Facility staff in tracking seed source and processing tree seeds recognition of the significance of the Ontario Tree Seed Plant and its founders in Ontario's history For more information: Two Billion Trees and Counting: The Legacy of Edmund Zavitz, John Bacher, Dundurn, 2011      

AWARE Essa and Friends of Utopia and Park
2,113 supporters
Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to Premier Stephen McNeil

Ban clear cutting on Crown land, favour selection management and cancel WestFor's license

Premier Stephen McNeil, Nova Scotians want clear cutting on our public lands to stop.  Our forests are disappearing, overharvested for the lowest possible end uses - chipped and burned in biomass plants, turned into pellets, biofuel, OSB strand board, and pulp.  Our forests are clear cut on ever shorter rotations, instead of being stewarded to generate jobs for current and future generations.  Major forest losses are seen in satellite images like the above, which depicts an area, mostly Crown land, northeast of Halifax Airport.  Tree cover loss between 2001 and 2014 is shown in pink while regrowth on older clear cuts is blue  (  The federal government's High Resolution Satellite Forest Monitoring shows that Nova Scotia has among the most intensive forest harvests in Canada (Wulder et al. 2016 DOI 10.13140;  In the 25 years prior to 2014, the last year for which forest data are available, 42% of the operable forest in Nova Scotia was clear cut.  Our Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is allowing our lands to be devastated.  Selection management that maintains a mixed, multi-aged Acadian forest must be practiced on the majority of forested lands.  Clear cuts and most “partial cuts” conducted by DNR promote even aged, short rotation forestry, ideal for harvesting pulp, but detrimental to forest diversity.  The resulting forests contrast with mixed multi-age Acadian forests (i.e. red spruce, hemlock, white pine, beech, sugar maple and yellow birch).  Following rare major disturbances (such as fire), Acadian forests develop as shade tolerant trees become dominant.  The forest becomes multi-aged as trees that fall in gaps are replaced.  By DNR’s figures, disturbance regimes that naturally support our Acadian forests characterize 51% of the land base (Mapping Nova Scotia's Natural Disturbance Regimes, 2008).  Non-DNR experts put this figure much higher (>80%). Selection management can maintain our Acadian forest.  However, in 2014, selection management was practiced on only 8.3% of working Crown forests (7.3% for the province), clearly contradicting DNR’s claim that “all harvest treatments are aligned with the nature-based requirements of Nova Scotia’s lands”.    DNR must stop misleading the public.  Public lands must be managed in the public interest.  On DNR’s watch, industrial interests reign supreme. The many benefits of intact forests to Nova Scotias are ignored. With the blessing of DNR, WestFor, a consortium of 13 mills, has become the manager of 1.4 million acres of public forest in western Nova Scotia. There is little doubt that clear cutting will be their method of choice. In 2014, statistics from the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers confirmed that 86% of Crown land harvests in Nova Scotia were clear cuts. Harvest locations are set through a complex, non-transparent process. Upcoming harvests are made public on DNR's online Harvest Viewer platform; only rarely has a large public outcry during the 20 day comment period altered their plans. Nova Scotia's taxpayers are not being allowed to plan the use of Crown land, instead we are providing large volumes of cheap subsidized wood to the mills. We must not allow this consortium of mills to manage our Crown lands. WestFor's license must be cancelled.     Government commitments to improving forestry practices must be honoured.  In 2011, after three years of engaging the public and numerous experts, the province adopted a 10 year policy called the Natural Resources Strategy that committed to limits on whole tree harvesting and “reducing the proportion of wood harvested by the clear cut method to no more than 50% of all harvests over a five year period”.  In a major about face, the 2016 update of the Natural Resources Strategy states that the DNR won't be limited to a specific percentage of clear cutting.  Although promised in 2011, no rules have been developed to limit whole tree harvesting. Even Nova Scotia’s Auditor General has chastised DNR for failing to steward endangered species. Government must recognize the crucial ecosystem services provided by intact forests and ban clear cutting. Clear cutting forests results in losses of wildlife habitat, increased flooding, depletion of soil nutrients, major losses of soil carbon and acidification of waterways.  Clear cutting is bad for Nova Scotia’s public image and dismays tourists. Clear cutting is like spending your savings; you use both the principal and the interest and are left with nothing for the future Sign below to ask Premier McNeil to: 1) Ban clear cutting on Nova Scotia Crown lands.  2) Practice selection management on the majority of Nova Scotia’s forested lands 3) Cancel WestFor’s license to manage 1.4 million acres of Crown land Then follow up by expressing your concerns to your political representatives, the Premier, the Minister of Natural Resources and the Minister of Environment.  Honourable Stephen McNeil                                       Honourable Lloyd Hines                                               Honourable Margaret Miller                          

Helga Guderley
1,976 supporters