Lessons to learn in the Peel

Lessons to learn in the Peel Recently I learned that part of the Peel watershed might be disturbed by mining activities and by an increase in the number of access roads. This came as a shock. During the summer of 2001, I had the privilege of canoeing th

Recently I learned that part of the Peel watershed might be disturbed by mining activities and by an increase in the number of access roads. This came as a shock.

During the summer of 2001, I had the privilege of canoeing the Wind River. I had joined an international group of six people: one Canadian, two Scots, an American, an Australian, and me – from the Netherlands. It was an experience that I will never forget.

We travelled through pristine wilderness, encountering wolves and bears on the way. We were in awe of the vastness, the wildness and the silence.

These experiences are important. They make us realize that there is more in life than economic growth and filling our wallets. There’s beauty, silence and wild places in which there is little human influence – to name a few.

The Peel watershed, a wild place, acts as a point of reference. I helps us to think about the direction our society ought to be heading.

Therefore, I urge Canadian policy-makers to not think first about their wallets, but rather to reflect upon their responsible role as decision-makers in a democratic society.

Yes, they’re the ones to make the decisions. However, it is their moral obligation to take into account the democratic process that has lead to another outcome. In my opinion, that is what it means to be a leader in a democratic society.

Tore van der Leij

Sleen, The Netherlands