Friday, April 23, 2021

A look at the past and hopes for the future; Ellis Ross on Earth Day in the Legislature

As part of his opposition critics duties, Skeena MLA Ellis Ross has the portfolio of Opposition Critic for Environment and Climate Change Strategy, so not surprisingly he had the lead spot in Thursday's salutes to Earth Day at the BC Legislature. 

Mr. Ross followed up on some of his thoughts from earlier this week to focus on some of the road travelled so far towards affirming a commitment to protecting the natural environment for future generations.

The MLA began his commentary by noting that the day was the 51st annual celebration of Earth Day and charted some of the path that has been followed in observation of it.

Today, billions of people in 193 countries around the world now participate in Earth Day, in activities all shared by everybody, recognizing the collective responsibility we all have to this planet, our shared heritage and bond to the pale blue dot that we call Earth.

In 2009, April 22 was also proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly as International Mother Earth Day. And after a year of people all around the world staying home and not travelling, those of us who call British Columbia home have more reasons than ever to be thankful to Mother Earth and to live in this great province, one of the most beautiful places on earth. 

We all recognize the importance of combatting climate change, reducing emissions and working to secure a clean future for our children and grandchildren. 

As the MLA for Skeena, representing one of the most stunning areas of the planet, my constituents and I care deeply for the environment. And as former chief councillor of the Haisla people, my people have a deep reverence for the natural world. 

We know what it means to be stewards of the land in the 21st century and how to work towards balancing economic development with environmental protection. 

We are practical and know that progress isn't measured in terms of months when it comes to humanity's relationship with nature. 

Progress takes time, but stewardship is a lifelong commitment.

Noting how the responsibility of caring for the land is a collective one and knows no boundaries the MLA observed how many in the Legislature started in local government where the seeds of seeking larger solutions were put in place.

Many of us on both sides of the House started in local government because we wanted to make a difference and find common solutions to make life better for everyone. 

I believe, in spite of the past year that we've all experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, and perhaps even because of it, we've grown to appreciate what really matters and how vital it is that we find those common solutions at the international level as well as the local level. 

Since 2004, I've come to see the sincerity and good work that B.C. has done to mitigate and remediate our impacts to our lands, and we should be sharing our best practices with the world and vice versa to make progress on a worldwide scale, step by step, to continue protecting our environment for the future while achieving prosperity for all. 

That should be the goal we all seek: to be united to safeguard this planet for the next generation and to bring prosperity to our loved ones and neighbours who call this planet home. 

This is the fight that I joined in on in 2003 as an elected councillor in Kitamaat Village, and I am proud to be able to continue that fight every single day in this House. I know British Columbians will, as they have in the past, rise up to this fight again.

You can review the full statement from the Legislature Archive page here, and view it from the House Video for the day starting at just before the 10:30 AM mark. You can also follow the rest of the day's commentary on Earth Day from those two options.

More on how politicians both local and from afar observed Earth Day can be reviewed from our story from Thursday.

For more notes on the MLA's work in the Legislature see our archive page here.

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