It is important to first state that although the Cap and Trade program was not perfect, it brought significant revenue into the provincial coffers, and funded important innovation, efficiencies and low-carbon programs. The few cents added to our gas fill-up was hardly noticeable. That being said, this is a great opportunity for the Province to come up with an effective Greenhouse Gas reduction strategy that will not just reduce carbon and result in cleaner air, but at the same time create well-paying jobs.
Many individuals and groups embarking on the Part II Order process are new to it, have no legal assistance or background, and are unfamiliar with the terminology and rules; therefore, if we are truly aiming to provide help to the public it is extremely important that clear, succinct and concise instructions be provided in this policy/guidance document.
This document does not go far enough to place CAs in a central role of watershed planning and management, or in working collaboratively with other municipalities and planning authorities. The CAs have a mandate to ensure the conservation, restoration and responsible management of Ontario’s water, as well as the land and natural habitats; however, municipalities have no such mandate and are more development oriented. It is essential that municipalities are not just using this Watershed Planning Guidance purely for municipal land use planning or a stormwater management tool, but that CAs play a central role, and it is used as an integrated watershed planning and management framework.
Unfortunately, water protection is not equal across the province; therefore, ORA submits that this proposal, and other provincial initiatives, must go much further to protect freshwater resources throughout all of Ontario. This is especially important in areas of intense mining or industrial development.
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:
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
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.
ORA feels this proposed Bait Policy falls short of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s (MNRF) goal of finding options that minimize the ecological risks associated with the use, movement and harvest of baitfish, while also reducing the complexity of current management regimes and increasing business certainty to the bait industry.
The focus of the Strategy’s five goals should not just be on “Natural Resources”, but rather on the resilience of the province’s natural heritage landscape, using a watershed approach, in consideration of the cumulative effects of all past, present and future development on our air, land and water. Additionally, the scope of the Strategy must be broadened to encompass a review of all policies, guidelines and legislation that do not support the resiliency, conservation and protection of our streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands in this warming climate. Continue reading
Stream-side forests are crucial to the protection and enhancement of freshwater resources. They are extremely complex ecosystems that provide useful ecosystem services such as mitigating or controlling non-point-source pollution as well as providing optimum food and habitat for stream communities. As a component of an integrated management system including nutrient management and sediment and erosion control practices, stream-side forests have important effects on water quality. They remove excess nutrients, pollutants and sediments from surface runoff and shallow groundwater and they also shade streams to optimize light and temperature conditions and provide dissolved and particulate organic food for aquatic plants and animals.