Friday 24 July 2015

Lead By Example Parliament ... Join the Paperless Revolution!

I recycle.  You recycle.  We all try to do our part. We all feel our carbon footprint like it's the boogeyman hiding under our beds.  My hunni is especially anal about the 3R's.  Considering the fact that the base components from almost all recyclables is slowly running dry~ the oil and the trees ~we all see the need to reduce what we use, reuse when we can, and of course recycle.

Unless you're in the position to represent the rest of us in one of the 336 ridings of our Country, then it seems that paper and trees and ink to colour them is growing out back of their yards.  I've actually only seen the West Block of the Canadian Parliament buildings, am I unaware?  Is the all-giving, never-ceasing tree of life growing out back and I just never knew?

A friend just brought this to my attention because she knows how much it bothers me.  It's convenient how we're able to set aside environmental protection measures when an election is nigh.  I was furious during our recent municipal election here in Kingston.  My hallways were littered with glossy placards with smiling faces and hopeful promises.  I was published in our local newspaper then regarding the absolute atrocity that was the traffic circle with it's busy collage of election signs.  If texting while at a stop light is distracting, how is reading election signs not?  My beef was more with the fact that several signs lay littered in the grassy patches along my street for weeks after the election was over.

I propose an environmental tax on all partisan flyers, brochures, and MP newspapers. Of course, that's silly, it's not like it's the actual MP is paying for the paperwork or the postage to mail it.  You and I pay for paper and printing while Canada Post is mandated to send anything an MP wants to send out for free.  I've learned that it's all up to each individual member as well.  That's interesting.  Are there any guidelines or restrictions on that?  Or are those expense rules as vague as we're hearing they are in the Senate?  That's a slippery and expensive slope if you're an over-sharer like me, you're going to break the bank in both postage and printing costs.  Not to mention environmental concerns as not everyone has gotten the 3R bug yet.  I just received this from my local MP Ted Hsu.

I've met with Ted before as a not-so-young Young Liberal, and don't doubt that he'd agree it's a bit excessive.  I think that this is a problem rooted in archaic practices that haven't had the sustainability light shone on them.  The above flyer is a season catch up on local Liberal activities.  It's 11x17, substantial stock paper, in both official languages.  All of the above is over-the-top in my opinion, and simply one small example of the over-use of resources in a time of cut-backs to vital programs all over the country.  Also, if I don't speak or read french, why am I getting it?  Don't I tick a box stating I speak English during my elections?

I'm really confused to be honest.  If the banks are going paperless, and they're all about the money, perhaps parliament could take a hint?  I mean, at TD they're actually paying YOU to go paperless.  I know this because my hunni hasn't gotten with the "credit union revolution" and he's still with them. For eight months he was offered $5 to go paperless and last week they upped it to $10.  He says he's holdin' out for a pink $50!!

But my friend has a better example than this.  I mean, at least this is local and up until the signing of C-51, I was a card-carrying Liberal.  But what if I weren't a supporter of Ted?  Would I still get the flyers and the papers and all of the flashy reminders?  I'd surely hope to be able to opt out of that.  I mean, as it is, I'm starting to dislike the colour blue, would I have to see it often in my mailbox if Alicia Gordon had won in Kingston and the Islands?

My friend lives in the riding of Stormont--Dundas--South Glengarry which is represented by Conservative MP Guy Lauzon.  If there are guidelines, it seems Guy hasn't read them.  As an aside, would that really be a valid excuse? :)  We'll see when the Duffy trial finally finishes.  Check out her interaction with Guy as a concerned constituent here.  How about this for choking over-use of ink and stock paper and yes ... postage.

The Canadian Lumber Industry remains a profitable and integral part of our economy, and yet everywhere we're told to use less.  Why not follow that same sentiment in Parliament?  At the very least, do you think you could re-think your printing practices to reflect accurate readership?  Only print what you need!  I mean, unless the garbage people possess greater voting power than the rest of us, you're wasting time and our money.

I am a citizen who sees cutbacks but really isn't effected by any, yet I feel this urgency about money and time and resources that Parliament clearly does not.  Money doesn't grow on trees!  As elected members of Parliament, you need to feel this urgency too.  Is it too much to ask that you consider waste?  Is it too much for you to consider excess spending?

It's not too much to ask, but the sacred cow is difficult to slaughter.  Maybe she should get recycled instead. :)

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