Remarks delivered by Richard Filion, Director General
Sept. 24, 2019 at Dawson College
I will begin by thanking each of you for your presence, support and company.
Today we are welcoming a new member of the Dawson community.
This tree has been invited to stay among us. While it helps us enrich the biodiversity within these gardens, it reminds us that we are a community at Dawson where all living things, human and non-human, are important, necessary and complementary.
Today, the Dawson community takes this living tree under their care to reiterate that everyone’s well-being is a way of being and acting in this college.
In times of crisis, Dawson has recovered and strengthened more than once. Today we live in times that are complex and for some, the shadow of despair is in all directions of the world. Here, we return to the practice of caring and reconnecting. Here, every small effort adds up to support and inspire us towards a possible future where present generations firmly act in favour of the coming ones. This concept was engrained in the First Peoples’ life philosophy. This tree, in turn, will outlast us and shelter others in the future. It will stand strong to remind us of who we are and what we can achieve together.
Through many individual and departmental actions, Dawson has met and exceeded Canada’s 2030 Green House Gas emission goals with a reduction in energy emissions of 50% since 2010. Last year the Board of Governors unanimously voted to become Carbon Neutral Forever, as we continue to reduce emissions and plant thousands of trees yearly to offset remaining emissions.
We want this new member of the community to be an important symbol and inspiration in a restorative place we call our peace garden. When you have doubts about the challenges ahead, I invite you to come to the shadow of this tree, take a deep breath and know that at Dawson, we will find more ways to support our students and those yet to come as part of our core value of well-being for all.