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Category Archives: River Concerns

Environmental Accountability in Ontario – Consultation Paper

Big Falls – Victory – stopped a proposed hydroelectric project on a sacred site!

The current government has gutted multiple key pieces of environmental legislation and policy that have taken decades to assemble. We are in a perilous state now where the requirement to consult with the public and Indigenous communities has been minimized, and the red tape cutting has gone to such extremes that public health and safety and the natural environment will be at increased risk as the climate continues to warm. 

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ERO-019-6160 – Proposed Updates to the Ontario Wetland Evaluation System – Joint

“Blandings Turtle” by tcmurray74 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

As you know, the OWES is a science-based ranking system that provides a standardized approach to determining the relative value of wetlands. OWES assessments are necessary to designate Provincially Significant Wetlands (PSWs). This designation in turn results in a high level of protection under provincial law and policy such as the Provincial Policy Statement (sections 2.1.4, 2.1.5 and 2.1.8). Yet the complete overhaul of the OWES, as proposed, will ensure that very few wetlands would be deemed provincially significant in the future and that many if not most existing PSWs could lose that designation. As a result, very few of Ontario’s wetlands would benefit in the future from the protection that PSW designation currently provides. We urge you not to proceed with the proposed changes to the OWES, for the reasons outlined below. 

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ERO-019-6141 – Legislative & Regulatory proposals affecting Conservation Authorities

“Consider This” by Storm Crypt is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The Ontario government’s own 2020 report, “Protecting People and Property: Ontario’s Flooding Strategy,” which resulted from the 2019 flooding disaster, states very clearly that “Flood risk management is achieved through multiple provincial acts, regulations, policies and technical guides and a wide range of provincial programs and services. Successful implementation relies on partnerships between provincial ministries, municipalities, Indigenous communities, conservation authorities, stakeholder organizations and the federal government.” 1

Instead, this proposal seeks to do the very opposite. It proposes to exempt the CAs from their authority under ten crucial Acts and their associated regulations; it blocks the CA partnership with municipalities and stakeholders and takes the authority of CAs away from permitting so they cannot properly fulfill the recommendations of this report that was commissioned by the Ontario government only a few short years ago.  Now, where is the wisdom in that?

[1] Protecting People and Property: Ontario’s Flooding Strategy, 10 March 2020. P-7/42

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Bill 23 – ORA Comments to the Standing Committee on Heritage Infrastructure and Cultural Policy

The ORA is concerned that Bill 23 will have far-reaching negative effects on the environment and communities. This major streamlining of development is irresponsible and a recipe for disaster. Bill 23 works against sustainability and the watershed approach at a time when Government decision-making should be focused on protecting the environment and building climate resilience into Ontario’s communities and infrastructure.

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Mill Creek Weir Removal Project

The ORA is pleased to partner with Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) in the Mill Creek Weir Removal Project. Mill Creek is home to an at-risk population of native Brook Trout, and the weir is a barrier to fish passage and prime habitat.   Mill Creek is the lowest dam before its confluence with the Credit River.

The concrete weir is broken and cracked, and if individuals from the Brook Trout population were to breach the weir, they could be permanently trapped in a small pool on the other side, with no way back. Removing the weir will remove this hazard, open up 5 km of uninterrupted Brook Trout habitat, and increase Mill Creek’s resilience to a warming climate. The ORA applied for and received a $5,000 Lush grant towards the new detailed channel design. Continue reading


Join ORA: Adam Shoalts – #1 Best Selling Author & Wilderness Legend

Adam Shoalts, Author and Wilderness Legend

ORA ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

SPEAKER: ADAM SHOALTS – #1 BEST SELLING AUTHOR
Saturday, 22 October 2022
Free – Limited Seats

AGM at 10:00 am – Keynote Speaker at 10:30 am

REGISTER NOW TO SAVE YOUR SEAT!


ADAM SHOALTS: A well-known explorer, adventurer, conservationist and bestselling author.  Adam will join us to share stories of his expeditions in Canada’s wilderness and talk about the importance of preserving wild rivers from remote hinterlands to our own backyards.

BIO: Best known for his long solo canoe journeys, including crossing nearly 4,000 km of Canada’s Arctic alone, Adam Shoalts is the Westaway Explorer-in-Residence of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, and a regular guest on television and radio. His national bestselling books include Beyond the Trees: A Journey Alone Across Canada’s Arctic, A History of Canada in 10 Maps, and The Whisper on the Night Wind. A geographer, historian and archaeologist, Shoalts has a PhD in History from McMaster University.

Register here to reserve your seat.

All registrants will receive an Agenda one week before the AGM.

All members wishing to vote at the AGM must renew their membership by 21 October 2022.

Drop us a line if you interested in joining our Board of Directors at info@ontarioriversalliance.ca   

                                              


ERO 019-5816 – Development of a Clean Energy Credit Registry

The total amount of GHGs emissions from a hydroelectric facility is dependent upon many factors, including the impounded reservoir, terrain, amount of organic matter, air-water temperature, reservoir depth and size, vegetation (algae and plant/tree litter), pH values, oxygen levels, flow velocity, water level fluctuations, wind speeds, precipitation, wetlands within the impoundment zone, and facility operating strategy (cycling and peaking to maximize power generation).  Every hydroelectric facility is unique in its complexity and must be carefully studied and continually assessed and monitored to determine the total daily, seasonal and annual GHG emissions per MWh emanating from the system.

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Erin WWTP – Environmental Compliance Approval – Joint

Photo by Steven Noakes – West Credit River Brook Trout

The Coalition for the West Credit River (Coalition) remains very concerned with the potential environmental impact of the Erin Water Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF) and, in particular, the temperature of its treated effluent harming the sensitive coldwater Brook Trout habitat of the West Credit River. 

As your Ministry is aware, the approved sewage treatment plant proposes to discharge large flows of sewage effluent into the relatively small flow of the West Credit River. The lack of significant dilution will greatly magnify the thermal impact of warm effluent on this coldwater stream. 

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Put nature at the centre of Canada’s Adaptation Strategy – Joint

Photo by Steven Noakes – West Credit River

As representatives of more than 90 organizations from across Canada, we are writing to urge you to put nature at the centre of Canada’s forthcoming National Adaptation Strategy.

The impacts of climate change are already being felt across the country, and we must all work together to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resilient communities and ecosystems.

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Environmental Compliance Approval Number 7877-CALRZU – Erin Water Resource Recovery Facility – Joint

Photo by Steven Noakes

First, the Coalition for the West Credit River (Coalition) would like to express our deepest appreciation that you and your staff worked with our Technical Team over the last several months to incorporate some of our recommendations into the Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA). However, we are concerned that our key recommendations for improvements to the draft ECA, received by you on 2 May, were not reflected in the ECA approved on 3 May 2022. 

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