ORA offers our support on the proposal to enact an Invasive Species Act (Bill 167), and to emphasize the importance of a proactive approach to minimize the possibility of intentional and unintentional introductions of alien and invasive species, and of mitigating the effects of species that have already been introduced.
For the Invasive Species Act to be effective, it is important that this legislation is accompanied by invasive species policies and implementation plans, along with collaboration between the Ontario government, ministries, agencies, municipalities and federal authorities, along with adequate funding, staff and required resources that are dedicated to the successful application of the policies and action plans. It is crucial that invasive species policy be incorporated into all decision-making processes throughout all pertinent government agencies in order to protect the economic, social and ecological integrity within all of Canada. Continue reading
Excerpt: “ORA supports the clarity in Ontario’s Great Lakes Strategy that the goal that appeared in draft form as “protecting water” has been refined to “protecting water for human and ecological health” (p.30). Our concern is that the cumulative impact of various decisions that impact the waters in our rivers and streams (as evidenced by the example of Wabagishik Lake above) must be addressed urgently. The focus on improving wetlands, beaches and coastal areas, without also ensuring the rivers and streams feeding these features are being protected and improved as well, will not enable the vision of the proposed Act to be realized.
ORA recommends that, should Bill 6 be enacted, the Province immediately place a moratorium on all hydroelectric approvals within the Basin, until such time as their well-documented and substantial impacts on the health of the Great Lakes can be effectively assessed and addressed. The 40 year FIT contracts awarded to hydroelectric projects would ensure a long and lasting impact that could be very costly to stop or reverse once approved.” Continue reading
ORA requests that the Renewable Energy on Crown Land Policy Review take into account the communities and stakeholders that will have to live with the impacts of these hydroelectric dams. Public consultation must be a mandatory component before releasing Crown Land to developers.
A provincial strategy for waterpower development is needed. A strategy that examines the full range of impacts before a site is released to developers, to look at where it makes ecological sense to build hydroelectric dams vs. where it does not make sense. Crown lands are held in trust for the people of Ontario – and therefore they must be effectively and transparently consulted before disposing of a waterpower site. Continue reading