Blog

Photo by Linda HeronPhoto Credit

Category Archives: River Concerns

Speak out against Bill 66 – Schedules 5 and 10

The Government of Ontario is proposing Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018. It is unacceptable that key environmental protection and legislation that protects the public is under attack.

Schedule 5 of Bill 66 would repeal the Toxics Reduction Act and two regulations. The purpose of the TRA is to prevent pollution and protect human health and the environment by reducing the use and creation of toxic substances and informing Ontarians about toxic substances. 

Schedule 10 of this Bill would enable municipalities to simply pass an “open-for-business planning by-law” under the Planning Act, to exempt local development from the application of key components of several important provincial laws, plans and policies, including the:
• Clean Water Act, 2006, Section 39
• Great Lakes Protection Act, 2015, Section 20
• Greenbelt Act, 2005, Section 7
• Lake Simcoe Protection Act, 2008, Section 6, and 
• Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, 2003, Section 7  

It’s also extremely troubling that a municipal open-for-business planning by-law would not be subject to public notice, comment or appeal provisions which are currently mandatory under the Planning Act.

If passed, this legislation would enable municipalities and local developers to bypass important environmental and public safety protections. Risky and imprudent development decisions could have severe negative impacts on our air, land and water, as well as the Great Lakes and many other highly valued ecosystems.

Sustainable development and a healthy environment go hand in hand. We all want safe, healthy and resilient communities, so it is important that this government ensures legislation that protects our freshwater and groundwater resources, our farmland and the environment.  

It is crucial that Schedule 10 of Bill 66 is rejected and this gutting/circumventing of protective legislation is stopped. 

Please take action now by signing onto this petition and ask your local MPP to champion the rejection of Bill 66.

Comment deadline is 20 January 2019! Thank you for taking action!

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITIONS 


Proposal to establish a hunting season for double-crested cormorants in Ontario – ERO 013-4124

Nesting Double-Crested Cormorants – a wild native species in Ontario

This disturbing proposal would allow the killing of 50 cormorants per day from March 15 until December 31 each year, which would potentially mean the killing of more than 14,000 birds per hunter, per killing season.  Additionally, both members of a nesting pair are required for nesting success; therefore, the killing of either the male or female during the nesting season would result in their chicks starving to death. The government also proposes to amend the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act to allow killed cormorants to be left to spoil, but suggests that if this proposal proceeds it may be accompanied by regulations to require retrieval and disposal of the carcasses.  This entire proposal is unacceptable, irresponsible and unjustified, and presents an increased risk to cottagers and recreational boaters and fishermen.

Continue reading

Springbank Dam – One River Class EA – Preferred Alternative – Joint Submission

Springbank Dam, Thames River, London, ON

Our organizations recommend choosing Alternative 3 – the Full Removal of Springbank Dam and the naturalization of this section of the Thames River.   We submit that full dam removal and naturalization are the preferred solutions from an environmental perspective and would likely prove to be the most cost-effective over the long-term when Life-cycle costs and available provincial and federal funding are considered.

Continue reading


Riverside Dam Class EA – Part II Order Request – ORA & Partners

The full Capital and Life Cycle Costs of Rebuilding Riverside Dam were not realistically represented in the ESR and could well end up costing the taxpayers more than double what was presented to the public and City Council.  A Rebuilt dam would be considered a new dam, not a repair or expansion of an existing weir, with an assessed High Hazard Potential, and is located within the City of Cambridge in a location that could place multiple residences and businesses at risk in the event of severe flooding or a dam breach.  ORA and Partners submit that this Project goes far beyond the screening process provided by a Schedule B, Class EA.  Consequently, we submit that this is a major project that should fall into a higher level of assessment.

Continue reading



Impact Assessment Act – Project List, Information Requirements, Timelines

ORA has fully participated in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Process review and was very hopeful with this government’s promise to “rebuild public trust, protect the environment, advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and ensure good projects get built…” While there are some encouraging components, such as requiring the Minister and Cabinet to provide reasons for environmental approvals and creating a single agency to conduct assessments, it is extremely disappointing that the proposed Impact Assessment Act (IAA) further undermines credibility and trust as well as its ability to protect the environment. It is a very flawed process when after going through years of application review and examination of science-based evidence, that the Minister could make a purely political decision and prioritize economic considerations over meeting climate commitments – as it is doing now with the Trans Mountain Pipeline. 

Continue reading


Riverside Dam Class EA – Update to Preliminary Preferred Alternative – Joint Submission

ORA understands the pressure municipalities are under when communities rally to maintain or rebuild their beloved mill ponds.  However, it is up to all authorities and municipalities to take a leadership role that places public safety and landscape scale ecological integrity above local individual or group interests.

Continue reading



Decommission Howson Dam on the North Maitland River

Looking downstream at Howson Dam on the North Maitland River.

 On 23 – 24 June of 2017, the upstream Gorrie Dam failed and the Howson Dam was at capacity during an extreme rain event and flood when 175 mm of rain fell in just 7 hours, placing more than 150 property owners at risk and resulting in an estimated $11-million in damages in the Town of Harriston. This severe rain event broke previous records by approximately 40% and was the second highest flow on the North Maitland in the 48 years of record. Fortunately, no one was killed; however, it could have been much worse, as in October of 2015, when a South Carolina flood breached 18 dams, and resulted in 16 deaths.

Continue reading


Gorrie Dam Failure, North Maitland River

Gorrie Dam Breach – Scour Hole

It has come to ORA’s attention that the Gorrie Dam on the North Maitland River failed as a result of flooding during an extreme rain event on 23 – 24 June 2017, and that Maitland Conservation is considering its options.  We understand that no one is more aware of the extremes of a volatile and changing climate than Conservation Authorities, and yours in particular; and we understand the pressure that Conservation Authorities and municipalities are under when communities rally to maintain their coveted mill ponds.  However, it is up to all authorities to take a leadership role that places public safety and landscape scale ecological integrity above local individual or group interests.

Continue reading


Sign a Petition

 

114 signatures

Speak Out Against Schedule 10 of Bill 66

Dear Sirs:

[signature]

Please share this Petition with your friends.