Ted Arnott – MPP –
The Minister of Natural Resources needs to step up soon and commit to establishing an Ontario Green Legacy Programme if it is to be up and running by 2017, says Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott.
“On October 22, I brought forward a Private Member’s Resolution calling upon the government to establish an Ontario Green Legacy program to mark Ontario’s 150th anniversary as a province within Canada,” Mr. Arnott reminded MPPs in a statement in the Ontario Legislature on December 7. “This initiative, which would be based on the County of Wellington’s Green Legacy Programme, would seek to plant 150 million trees starting in 2017.”
Mr. Arnott’s resolution, which was passed unanimously by the Legislature, was inspired by the County of Wellington’s Green Legacy Programme. The County established the programme in 2004 and they now plant over 150,000 trees across the County each year. It has grown into the largest municipal tree planting programme in North America.
“I want to again thank the many people who support my resolution, both in this House and outside of it,” he said. “I especially want to acknowledge the role of the County of Wellington, and in particular Scott Wilson and the late Brad Whitcombe, for their vision and leadership in establishing Wellington County’s Green Legacy Programme.”
Since Mr. Arnott’s resolution was passed, support for his idea has continued to grow. Last week, Mr. Arnott met with representatives from the Credit Valley Conservation Authority, the David Suzuki Foundation, Forests Ontario, and Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests. This week he is also meeting with representatives from the Highway of Heroes Living Tribute and Landscape Ontario.
However, while an Ontario Green Legacy Programme has been endorsed by the Ontario Legislature, the Ontario Government needs to get behind it in order to make it happen.
“I spoke to the Minister of Natural Resources on November 5 to follow up on my resolution, asking him to reach out to the County of Wellington and invite County Council and staff and many of their representatives to meet with them,” Mr. Arnott informed the House. “I hope that he will do so, as well as publicly commit to moving forward on this initiative.”
“The year 2017 will be here before we know it. Let’s get going,” he concluded.