At the recent “We Day” in Ottawa, where 16,000 young people gathered to celebrate how youth are making a difference in their local and global communities, my daughter Maddy Moffatt received a “shout out” at the event.
They showed a photo (above) and talked about Maddy’s efforts to fight Waste Management’s new landfill expansion on Carp Road. It’s hard to believe that Maddy was six years old when the fight to stop the landfill began!
The shout out talked about how Maddy, along with our family, got involved in the issue. She would attend events and could confidently explain to anyone the extent and flow of the groundwater contamination from the dump. Or, she would explain how landfill odour was toxic and would affect our community. They also mentioned that Maddy would not hesitate to confront politicians including the mayor (Jim Watson) or our local MPP (Jack MacLaren) to ask them what they were going do to about the issue. She wrote letters to the Mayor and the Ontario Minister of Environment.
It saddens me to think that in spite of the hard work of Maddy, and others like her, none of the adults – the politicians – are listening. Despite overwhelming evidence that the landfill is 1) not needed and 2) poorly located, it was still approved by the city, and will likely soon get provincial approval too.
My hope is that young people, like Maddy will continue to fight for what is right even if it seems that change is impossible. Even moving the bar ever so slightly is better than settling for the status quo! We can always do better.
So congrats to you Maddy. Keep on fighting for the right decision. And many thanks to We Day for inspiring so many young people to get involved and make the world a better place.