Canadians live with a lot of myths about our water. We think we have unlimited supplies, that we love our water, that we honour the right to water and that we take good care of it. Wrong on all counts. Maude will share the news that Canada has a water crisis in the making and that all the water issues we thought are far away are on Canada’s doorstep. From no protection for groundwater, poor protection for surface water, drinking water and wastewater treatment, a real water crisis in First Nations communities and gutted federal water laws, to increased water destruction by mining companies, agribusiness and extreme energy extraction, our water is at risk. Maude will present a vision for a new water ethic based on the principles of water justice, public trust and water sustainability.
Canada’s “Carolinian life zone” is the ecoregion extending across Ontario’s “deep south” from Toronto to Grand Bend. The region occupies less than 0.25% of Canada’s land mass yet it provides habitat for over 40% of Canada’s plant species, two-thirds of Canada’s terrestrial reptiles, half the nation’s bird species, and equally impressive proportions of other taxonomic groups. One quarter of Canada’s human population also lives here, the nation’s agricultural, industrial and economic heartland. As a result, extensive land conversion to human land uses has occurred. Natural cover now ranges from less than 5% in some areas to below 18% in others. Habitat fragmentation has reduced most natural areas to sizes much smaller than is required to maintain basic ecological functions and diverse, resilient biological communities. As a result, the region is also home to our nation’s highest concentration of species at risk. Carolinian Canada is an NGO committed to “the Big Picture Vision” with the long term goal of restoring an ecologically healthy landscape of natural cores and corridors, clean water and air, and productive soils to the ecoregion. This presentation will showcase the many ways Carolinian Canada is working collaboratively across a range of sectors, agencies, community groups and individual landowners to research, restore and monitor the ecological health of this vibrant region.