I have been intrigued by the ongoing debate around the National Park Reserve (NPR) proposal, especially the use of the word “freedom” by some folks who are opposed to the creation of the NPR. What does it mean when a sign says National Park – No/Freedom – Yes?
Freedom to disturb wildlife and access environmentally sensitive areas with my off-road vehicles.
Freedom to spread invasive weeds when grazing my cattle.
Freedom to deny wildlife a harassment-free territory.
Freedom to intimidate and pressure those who don’t share my views.
Freedom to deprive my descendants of any surety of pristine, undisturbed wilderness in my community.
Freedom to ensure my personal interests take priority over other’s.
I am all for freedom and the opportunity to share in our natural environment, but with freedom comes great responsibility. Our local community includes strong hunting and outdoor recreation enthusiasts whose interests are no more valid than those who promote environmental protection. Tolerance and compromise will promote dialogue in this matter and go a long way to ensure diverse opinions are freely shared and respected. That is what I hope freedom continues to mean in Canada. And with my freedom, I say yes to the park.