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Category Archives: ORA Submissions

Hydrocarbon Pipelines Added to Table of Drinking Water Threats – EBR-013-1839 and 1840

ORA would like to point out that the proposed list does not address an in-water pipeline scenario, it only addresses pipelines above, below and under a water body. Therefore, it is extremely important that the following be added:

Recommendation 1:

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MEDIA RELEASE: London City Council Says Springbank Dam Must Go

LONDON – After several years of debate over whether to repair or remove the broken Springbank Dam on the Thames River, in a unanimous vote, London City Council decided to decommission the dam.  City staff will now prepare a report to advise Council on whether to repurpose it as a footbridge or remove it entirely from the river.  Eliminating the last man-made barrier between the forks and the mouth of the Thames River is a significant win for the environment and City residents.

Through a groundswell of support from several organizations, businesses and individuals, we were able draw attention to a river not just in recovery but thriving since the dam gates broke in 2008.  We were able to change the conversation from the foregone conclusion that the dam would be repaired, to a unanimous vote to decommission Springbank Dam. A big thank you to City Councillors who were open-minded and receptive to our positive message. Continue reading


Decommission Springbank Dam, Thames River – One River Stage 1 Master Plan EA Report – Joint Letter

Springbank Dam, Thames River, London, ON

The City of London’s Civic Works Committee has made a decision on the recommended preferred option of a “Free Flowing River”.   As the London Free Press said, “After a unanimous vote to recommend decommissioning the dam at Tuesday’s civic works committee, when and how to do it could be the next chapter in the city’s Springbank dam saga.  There’s still a rubber-stamping needed from city council next week, but the writing clearly is on the wall”. 

The Thames River Anglers Association and the Ontario Rivers Alliance have continued to lobby through many channels to achieve this preferred outcome.   In January of 2016 we rallied the support of over 20 organizations representing more than 200,000 members to encourage the City of London to fully decommission Springbank Dam and protect the recovering riverine ecosystem.  Again, on January 9th of this year we submitted a joint letter of support to the Civic Works Committee from 16 organizations, businesses and stakeholder individuals – see below: Continue reading


EBR-013-1476 – Draft Government Response Statement for the Recovery of the American Eel

The American Eel Needs Your Help!  You have an opportunity to support the recovery of a species that has declined by 99% of its original population, has been completely extirpated from extensive areas of its native Ontario range, and is in steep decline where it still exists.  The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has prepared a Draft Government Response Station for the Recovery of the American Eel in Ontario, and you have until January 11th to sign the Petition below.  More information can be found here.  To add your own comments just click on the letter and type.  Thank you for your help! Continue reading


Ontario Rivers Alliance on the termination of the Energy East Pipeline

MEDIA RELEASE: For Immediate Release: 6 October 2017

Ontario Rivers Alliance on the termination of the Energy East Pipeline

SUDBURY – The Ontario Rivers Alliance says that TransCanada Corp. (TC) cancelled its controversial $15.7-billion Energy East Pipeline proposal because “It saw the writing on the wall.” It proposed to convert its 3,000 km natural gas pipeline and construct another 1,500 km of new pipeline, to carry 1.1 million barrels per day of dirty Tar Sands oil from Alberta to New Brunswick.

“TC’s decision was likely due in large part to a continuing decline in the demand for crude oil in a world on a fast-track to decarbonize.” The scientific evidence is clear, that climate change is one of the greatest threats of our time.  “So, the National Energy Board’s recent ruling to consider the potential increase in upstream and downstream greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the project was no surprise, but an impossible hurdle to overcome, and likely the final nail in the coffin.” Continue reading


EBR 013-0644 Statement of Environmental Values

 However, the SEV must also set the tone for climate-resilient development within communities. This approach would require that decision-makers and practitioners integrate climate considerations directly into development activities across multiple sectors, keeping the focus on achieving development goals despite a changing climate. It would encourage a commitment to understand and plan for climate shocks like fires, droughts, hurricanes and floods. Ensuring flood planes are free of development and wetlands are left to do their important work.

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Open Statement on NAFTA, Environment and Climate – Joint Submission

Since the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed more than two decades ago, our awareness of climate change has dramatically changed and our window of time for addressing it has shortened. NAFTA and other agreements that are part of the global trade regime have been used to undermine critical actions needed to respond to the climate crisis that help rebuild local economies, regulate corporations and stop damaging extractive projects.

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Open Statement on NAFTA, Environment and Climate

 Since the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed more than two decades ago, our awareness of climate change has dramatically changed and our window of time for addressing it has shortened. NAFTA and other agreements that are part of the global trade regime have been used to undermine critical actions needed to respond to the climate crisis that help rebuild local economies, regulate corporations and stop damaging extractive projects.

We need a fundamental shift in how we approach trade – one that puts the needs of people and the planet first. 

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Review of Environmental and Regulatory Processes – ORA Comments

There is little in this Discussion Paper that would rebuild trust in the federal environmental assessment or project approvals process. This proposal would leave the National Energy Board (NEB) in charge of hearing reviews and project approvals, when it clearly has lost the confidence of the public, stakeholders and Indigenous peoples. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) and the National Energy Board Act (NEBA) have failed to serve the public interest in sustainability and environmental protection, and should therefore be repealed and replaced.

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Binational Strategies for PCBs and HBCD – Letter of Support

 On behalf of the 47 undersigned organizations, we are providing these comments on the two draft binational strategies under Annex 3 – Binational Strategy for PCB Risk Management (February 2017, hereafter “PCB Strategy”), and Binational Strategy for HBCD Risk Management (March 2017, hereafter “HBCD Strategy”). We are offering several general observations and recommendations to the Parties for both chemical of mutual concern (CMC) strategies together. Then for each strategy document, we offer specific observations and/or recommendations for individual sections.

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Dam Decommissioning

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