All around me, people are being hurt by the recent budget and legislation cuts being meted out by the ruling party in Ottawa. People I know are being laid off, along with lots of their co-workers, from jobs within Parks Canada, Fisheries & Oceans, and Environment Canada. The stress and pain that this is causing is absolutely terrible. Just take a look at some of the blog entries posted by a friend who recently retired from Parks Canada. Listen to how he felt on April 30th - the day he received an e-mail from a old friend who had just been "surplussed." Feel the anger and sorrow when he laments that the government has "cut into the soul of the national parks" and is creating devastating impacts on many small communities dependent on them.
All this against a backdrop of rolling back environmental protection laws, such as the National Parks Act, the Fisheries Act, the Environmental Assessment Act and research programs like those dealing with contamination and other water quality issues in marine and fresh water ecosystems. These cutbacks, along with many others, put the health and safety of all Canadians at significant risk.
Although I have not yet directly felt the impact of the cuts and rollback, I'm sure I will at some point in the near future. Probably when I visit some national parks in the fall and find the park closed for the season or with significantly reduced services that affect my enjoyment and safety. I care so deeply that I feel compelled to do more to stop the hurting. Not sure what that will look like, but I trust the way will reveal itself as I take each step.