By Graeme McNaughton/The Oshawa Express
The face of the Queen in Ontario has made her way to Oshawa.
Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell had a full day in the city, meeting with city officials in a roundtable to discuss local issues, as well as visit the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and deliver remarks at the Jubilee Pavilion in a meeting organized by the Rotary Club of Oshawa.
Despite the busy schedule, there were two central themes to Dowdeswell’s visit: environmental stewardship and making the province a better place for all.
While she broke traditional protocol by coming into her position without a set focus, Dowdeswell says she has since found a calling in protecting Ontario’s environmental treasures, while balancing it with moving the province forward.
“That’s really how to help people better connect the dots between economic prosperity, environmental stewardship and social cohesion,” she tells The Oshawa Express.
“To understand that the kind of communities we want to build and the quality of life that we want really demands that we connect all three of those. It isn’t one or the other. And yet, as a society, we tend to focus in silos on certain things.”
Dowdeswell adds that the body of water on the south of the city and the other lakes it connects to is an important symbol for Ontario’s moves into the future.
“When we look at the Great Lakes, we can see the economic development story, the innovation story, the social development story. That’s where people’s roots really are. This province has such an iconic symbol in the Great Lakes, and that’s a way of getting people to talk about making connections,” she says.
“We are so blessed in this province, and we have such an opportunity through our natural resources, through our intellectual capital, through our system of governance that is relatively stable. We have such a contribution to make to the rest of the world and I hope that we can continue to do that, continue to talk about that and let others know because often our neighbours don’t know what we’re doing that’s so important to the rest of the world.
“It’s important also because we are such an interdependent world that if we don’t understand the rest of the world, we’re going to wake up some day and it will have passed us by.”