It’s our lakes
T he sweltering heat has sent many people in Toronto into air-conditioned shelters, as well as wading pools, in order to cool off.
We’ve been dealing with 30-degree weather stretches that have felt more like 40 degrees when compounded by humidity.
The elderly, frail and very young have been warned to avoid strenuous exercise. And while many are predicting Armageddon and the demise of our planet as we know it, the optimists among us still point to our fortunes.
Here in Muskoka we’re a pretty lucky bunch. We are literally surrounded by lakes and rivers. Whether you or your family live on a lake or river, or you have to drive to them, most water bodies are no more than a 20-minute drive for most people living in the region. One dip and your body temperature drops enough to make the sweltering heat bearable. And the sight of kids playing in the water under the watchful eye of an intense sun can in itself be rather rewarding.
Many still use water from the lakes for bathing, cooking and dishes; therefore to call our lakes an extension of ourselves and our everyday life is not a stretch by any means.
We also derive economic benefits from aqua tourism, fishing excursions and tournaments. It is therefore rather irksome that our own MP, understanding the central place lakes play in our existence, would not stand up to Harper’s plans to cut scientific research into lake health. We derive knowledge from that research. That knowledge helps guide planning, development and other policies that may impact our lake health, and with it our health, economic viability and individual property values.
Clement has always taken great pains in communicating to his constituents that we take precedence on his agenda. He’s had to prove this — especially at the beginning of his mandate when many viewed him as an opportunistic parachute candidate.
The problem is, when it comes to area lakes, he’s not on the money. Scientists, former politicians, seasonal and year-round residents have come out urging Clement and his government to continue investing in the protection of our water bodies.
But Clement is simply not budging on this issue. He’s simply not putting the money where his mouth is.