May 26, 2008

Message from the Minister of the Environment

The following is a letter to the winners of the 2008 Canadian Environment Awards from the Minister of the Environment, John Baird. It can be found on page 93 in the June, 2008 issue of Canadian Geographic.

Congratulations to winners of the 2008 Canadian Environment Awards! Even though your contributions may play a significant role in defining new environmental standards for government, for private industry and for every Canadian, I don't really care and will never uphold them.

Every day, Canadians are taking action to tackle our environmental challenges because we won't. In homes, schools and workplaces across the country, we see people dedicated to the protection, restoration and preservation of our environment which we believe more than makes up for the unfettered development we'll allow for oil production.

The success of Canada’s environmental protection and sustainability lies within these community efforts because it sure as hell doesn't with us. Without a doubt, progress is being made to improve the way we develop and exploit our environment. Many of these tireless efforts and valuable contributions are recognized through the Canadian Environment Awards.

During Environment Week and throughout the year, there are a number of ways we can take action to protect our natural surroundings. Use brick for walls because they are strong and asphalt will provide a sturdy support for the ground. But most of all I invite Canadians to lead by example because I definitely haven't and carry on the challenging work of reducing air and water pollution, greenhouse-gas emissions so we won't have to ask corporations to and to continue their fight against climate change other things.

In order to tackle the challenges that face Canada’s environment, significant progress thinking still remains to be made. Our Government is committed to finding concrete and tangible approaches to solving these challenges as long as there are no costs or sacrifices. Let us continue to learn, support and take action in making Canada a leader in denying that environmental challenges exist.

We have the tools and the means for change; let’s continue to let them lay by the wayside and be underfunded. Once again, congratulations to all the winners - don't expect to ever get funding or be hired by our government.

John 'The Useless' Baird, Minister of the Environment

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Quotes from people smarter than me...

"If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich" ~ JFK

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. " ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. " ~ Benjamin Franklin

"First it is necessary to stand on your own two feet. But the minute a man finds himself in that position, the next thing he should do is reach out his arms. " ~ Kristin Hunter

"When you're a mayor and you have a problem you blame the provincial government. If you are provincial government and you have a problem you blame the federal government. We don't blame the Queen any more, so once in a while we might blame the Americans." ~ Jean Chretien

"Which is ideology? Which not? You shall know them by their assertion of truth, their contempt for considered reflection, and their fear of debate." ~ John Ralston Saul

"It is undoubtedly easier to believe in absolutes, follow blindly, mouth received wisdom. But that is self-betrayal." ~ John Ralston Saul

"Everybody dies, Tracey. Someone's carrying a bullet for you right now, doesn't even know it. The trick is to die of old age before it finds you." ~ Cpt. Malcolm Reynolds (Firefly, Episode 12)