COPE Outreach / Educational initiatives

General

Attended approx. 18 Public Information Centre (PIC) meetings held by the MTO and attended by the public and by various stakeholders, politicians, etc: at these, we handed out details on the highway (newsletters); spoke at the microphones approx. 6 times per meeting to inform both the MTO and the crowds of our presence/mandate; sold t-shirts to help spread the word on the highway; and spoke with literally hundreds of people per meeting who were attracted to our display and wanted information, or to offer to help, or to join our group.

Have met three times with Six Nations (twice with the Band Council, once with the traditional elders) to share information, and to discuss ways of dealing with the MTO/MPH.

Attended 2 of 3 Stakeholder Workshops held by MTO to share info and to learn from other stakeholders including various municipalities, transit authorities (GO and CN), chambers of commerce, the Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC), etc.

Commissioned a professional poll to gauge/evaluate public opinion on the construction of the highway, protection of the Escarpment, etc. in every Provincial Riding affected by the MPH. The results will be used in part to educate Ontarions as to the depths of feelings people have towards protection of the Escarpment and the environment in general.

Staffed a COPE display at the Canadian Tire store in Burlington for several weeks during Christmas 02 to talk to the public about the MPH and the Niagara Escarpment and to hand out newsletters and other information.

COPE is an active participant in the City of Burlington Stakeholders group.

COPE public speaking – we’ve addressed:

The Niagara Escarpment Commission (twice)

Hamilton City Council (twice)

Burlington City Council

Greentrans Oakville

A group of three classes at Assumption High School during Earth Week at the invitation of the 3 teachers

The Halton High School Environmental Conference

The Women’s University Federation of Guelph

A couple of others – info to follow.

 

 

Exhibitor at the Halton Eco Fest. Educated attendees on the MPH.
Participant/exhibitor at Hamilton’s Earth Day event at the Convention Centre. Spoke with kids of all ages about the Niagara Escarpment and the MPH.
Created and maintain a website containing much information on the MPH, the Niagara Escarpment, the MTO, etc. The site includes many maps, a feedback mechanism which people use regularly to contact us, cartoons, a photo gallery, a record of our press releases, links to media coverage of the MPH (currently archiving over 130 media pieces), and much else. The site also contains links to other sites of environmental interest, and to the official Government Highway site. It’s a good resource for people who want to learn more.
Set up and staffed the COPE display and participated in the Federation of Ontario Naturalists launch of their Smart Growth booklet in both Hamilton and Oakville. Spoke with attendees on the MPH issue.
COPE addressed the Ontario Smart Growth panel at their hearing in Waterloo.
We made an extensive formal submission to the Ontario Smart Growth Panel outlining COPE’s concerns around the issues of the MPH, sustainability, transportation policy, urban sprawl, the preservation of the Escarpment, etc.
Joined forces with a group in WellandPort also concerned with the highway to maximize our ability to communicate issues to the public in the Niagara Region. We’ve also appeared on two TV shows in Niagara to broaden our outreach.
We were one of several sponsors of a concert event in Hamilton to raise awareness of environmental issues re: the Red Hill Creek, the MPH and the environment in general.
COPE public meetings:
We organized (in partnership with the City of Burlington) a large public meeting in Feb. 03 regarding the MPH. The speakers included Dr. David Pengelley on air quality, Burlington Mayor Rob MacIsaac on Smart Growth and Burlington’s position vis-à-vis the MPH, Bob Williams of COPE, Jason Thorne of the Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment (CONE), and Susan McMaster of COPE. Comments from the public were taken by the panel, as were comments in writing.
The meeting was covered in full on Burlington Cablenet TV and was the lead story on the CHTV 11 News that night.
We have another meeting in the Niagara Region tentatively scheduled for June 03 in partnership with CONE.
Direct Outreach:
Recently did a flyer drop/mailout to over 200,000 households to raise awareness of the MPH issue.
For the past year, we’ve been communicating with our membership via surface and email with periodic updates on the progress of the MPH. In addition, we’ve distributed our newsletters and flyers by hand to thousands upon thousands of mailboxes in Burlington, Waterdown, Hamilton, Flamborough, Rockton, Dundas, etc.
Used roadway display signage to further spread the word about the MPH.
Media Relations
COPE people have appeared on five or six different TV talk shows to discuss the highway and the environment.
We have done a show on CFRB Radio./ CBC Radio featured COPE and the MPH on Ontario Today.
We’ve contributed numerous OP-ED pieces and letters to the editor to various newspapers all over Southern Ontario.
WE presented a press conference / speech featuring famous Canadian artist and naturalist Robert Bateman. He accepted the position of Honourary Chair of COPE that day.
COPE has issued numerous press releases which have resulted in coverage on such issues as the MPH as a possible toll road and the NEC’s motion to call for a full environmental assessment on the Highway. Much of our coverage has been prominent in the local media – front page or editorial page.
Jointly held a press conference with Jason Thorne of CONE and Paul Muldoon of the Canadian Environmental Law Association at Queens Park. The event was covered widely by the print and electronic media.
Participated in a major media event/press conference June 2, 2003 with the Canadian Environmental Law Association, The Save the Oak Ridges Moraine people, The Pembina Institute, and the Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment.

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The COPE website was updated October 30, 2012
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