Tree Planters: A podcast about change for a better world

Tree Planters: A podcast about change for a better world

We live in a world running out of space, resources, and time. There are solutions. We can build a better world - a world that is fair, healthy, and prosperous. But this requires transformative change. Why Tree Planters Podcast you ask? Well, there's a great proverb that goes as follows:“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”We feel there's a scarcity of tree planters in positions of power these days. Each month we look at problems and solutions relating to how we live in modern society, including those of sprawl and associated consumption patterns and behaviour, climate change, habitat degradation and species loss, community development and empowerment, knowledge of and connection to place, leadership and accountable governance, among others.We welcome you to join us on our journey. Please don't hesitate to connect with us if you have suggestions or questions.

Episodes

October 30, 2023 63 mins

This month we have Claire Malcolmson, of the Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition, joining us.

We talk about health of Lake Simcoe, the strange silence from this government on reviewing the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan (now several years overdue), among other things.

Oh, and it's RLSC's 20th birthday! Tickets for their November 23rd celebration are available here.

Show links:

Lake Simcoe Protect...

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Our October episode focuses on the scandal that was the Greenbelt land take-outs, the public backlash, and the fall out.

There is the immediate problems around how land was given to developers, and there are more pervasive problems around democratic accountability, around how our governments make decisions, and about the attitudes of those entrusted with making decisions on all of our behalf.

All of this and more ...

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September 13, 2023 47 mins

This is a recording of the public forum we held, addressing the assault by this government on the Greenbelt.

Featuring:
Jeff Monague, former Chief of the Beausoleil First Nation on Christian Island, former Director of Treaty Research with the Anishnabek (Union of Ontario Indians) and a Canadian Forces Veteran;
David Crombie, former mayor of Toronto and former chair of Greenbelt Council;
Tim Gray, ED of Environm...

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Margaret and Adam talk about Ontario's controversial Bill 23, which drastically changes how communities are planned, about the Ford government's attack on the Greenbelt, which is a reversal from their often repeated promise to not touch it, as well as many more topics.

Adam swears once, hence the explicit tag. (We're talking about the Ford government here, so it's difficult to not be explicit.)

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October 19, 2022 68 mins

Municipal elections are just around the corner in Ontario, and the choice you make can have a big impact on the environment, the quality of our communities, and, believe it or not, on climate change.

This episode Margaret and Adam talk about why municipal action on the environment can have such a big impact, and how you can make an informed choice on which candidate to support.

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Orillia, a small city on the north shore of Lake Simcoe in central Ontario, is considering annexing nearby land in anticipation of population growth.

Stop Sprawl Orillia, a citizen group, has organized to advocate for retaining current boundaries and placing an emphasis on intensification, rather than enabling sprawl outward by allowing continued building of single detached homes around the current built-up area.

...

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This month we talk tall sprawl, also known as vertical sprawl.

Most of us think of the typical suburban development when we think of sprawl, and the answer to this, we are told, is to increase density within the urban boundary. (If you're familiar with our work at all you'll have heard us talk about the need for this.)

Building high rises accomplishes this but putting far more people on a much smaller ...

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This episode we are looking back at the year that was, and looking ahead at the year that might be. Oh, and we do a film review of Don't Look Up!

Topics covered include the amazing summer students we were so lucky to have, and the very positive impact that they had on youth engagement in Simcoe County; how private profit is often made in our economy at the expense of the public, which also means at the expense of the ...

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This episode we speak with two citizens, Tricia Leuchter and Irene Ford, who are fighting the Bradford Bypass and Highway 413, respectively, which are proposed for their communities. 

Doug Ford and other proponents of the highways have claimed that opponents are "downtown elites" and "radical activists." But, these characterizations are far from the truth, which is more in line with citizens who are con...

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This episode we talk about greenwashing, the practice of presenting a product in a way that makes it seem to consumers as if it is environmentally friendly, when in fact it is not.

Greenwashing is most often thought of in terms of marketing a product. In a time when political discourse is increasingly branded and marketed, however, and when the action required to address environmental problems is increasingly at odds with ...

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On this episode of the Tree Planters podcast SCGC's youth engagement lead, Kelly, and youth advocacy intern, Blythe, talk about the barriers making it difficult for youth to engage in discussions around climate action, and how these can be addressed so that youth can help build a climate friendly future.

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Our guest this episode, Victor Doyle, is considered one of the key architects of Ontario's Greenbelt.

We talk about how the current provincial government is attempting to open up more land in the GTA for sprawl development, how highways don't solve congestion problems, but rather make them worse, and how the costs of infrastructure projects like highways tend to be shouldered by the public, with the benefits goi...

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With new highways proposed in the GTA, there are concerns about a boondoggle waste of taxpayer's money that goes toward increased sprawl, increased congestion, and increased threats to the environment.

We talk with Laura Bowman, lawyer for Ecojustice, about threats that new highways pose to sensitive natural areas, to communities, and to the Greenbelt.

Show links:

Map of where the Bradford Bypass is ...

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This week (really last week, but there's been a lot happening and we've had our hands full!) we talk with Jennifer Van Gennip about affordable housing and the advent of modern homelessness.

Jennifer works with a number of groups that address these issues, including the Simcoe County Alliance to End Homelessness (SCATEH), the Simcoe County Poverty Reduction Task Group (PRTG), Redwood Park Communities, the Down Syn...

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This week we talk with Shak Edwards about her work mentoring youth, particularly Black youth, and the values of humility and kindness that she works from.

We also talk about the Black Lives Matter movement, about the efforts Shak, as well as others, have undertaken locally to support Black youth, and whether the Raptors will repeat as NBA champions this year.

Show links:

Just Recovery Simcoe
Shaks Wo...

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More news on local street closures to help with the recovery from COVID-19, an update on Simcoe County's request for a Ministerial Zoning Order which would allow for more sprawl, and a chat with Franz Hartmann, former Executive Director of the Toronto Environmental Alliance, who is currently engaged with the Small Change Fund and the Green Future Fund. 

Check the episode page and show notes for links to resources.

Supp...
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The main portion of this show this week is an interview with Heather Keam, of the Tamarack Institute. Heather is manager of Cities, Cities Deepening Community, Vibrant Communities at Tamarack and she spoke with us about what Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) is and how can help strengthen communities and build resilience.

In the chat before the interview Margaret and Adam discuss concerns regarding the Ontario gover...

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This week we are joined by Mary Wagner of Friends of Simcoe Forests about their work to protect the Freele Tract on Horseshoe Valley Road and the County seeking a Ministerial Zoning Order to override due process.

We also talk about the first openings of streets in our area to allow for safer physical distancing, London's announcement that it will greatly expand areas dedicated to pedestrian use, the risk-averse stance...

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In which we start another podcast format. Our Currents episodes will be focused on issues that are happening now, largely in our local community, and that our member organizations are involved with. It's less polished than our deep-dive episodes and more conversational.

This week we talk about the impacts of COVID-19 on our communities, specifically regarding some of the lessons that we can learn from COVID-19 to help...

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