TORONTO – Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day is calling Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan announced today a significant step in the right direction and looks forward to working with the province to make it world leader in the global battle to preserve Mother Earth.
“Today’s ambitious announcement by the provincial government is a significant step in the right direction towards combating climate change and preserving this land for future generations. However, the next step will now be to walk together and work in full partnership with First Nations,” said Regional Chief Isadore Day. “First Nations live exclusively on the most vulnerable, and the most valuable lands in treaty and traditional lands – in rural and northern regions; while 90 per cent of the Ontario populations live on just 13 per cent of the land in the south and in concentrated urban communities.
“Our Peoples – from the north to the south – have been suffering from the affects of global warming and pollution for many years. Our communities have been most affected by floods, fires, contaminated water, and a loss of traditional foods. First Nations signed the Treaties to equally share the lands and resources. Now we want to work in partnership, based on the principles of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), to ensure the lands and resources are shared for future generations.
“I am conditionally optimistic that today’s announcement emphasizes that First Nation Traditional Ecological Knowledge will guide the provincial action plan. In addition, the province has pledged to include our Peoples in the new carbon economy, as well as provide funding to replace dirty diesel generation with green energy micro-grids. Our First Nations must also continue to work with the province on major green energy projects that will supply power to all Ontarians. Climate Change laws and policies in Ontario must recognize that energy policy and investments must be integrated as much as possible in climate change policy.”
Next week, the Chiefs of Ontario will be hosting a two-day Climate Change and Cap and Trade conference in Thunder Bay. Over 30 representatives from 15 First Nation communities from across Ontario will gather to discuss climate change policy and crucial next steps. First Nation leadership, Environment and Climate Change Minister Glen Murray will be present as will officials from the Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.