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Category Archives: Campaign

ERO-019-6647 – IESO Pathways to Decarbonization Study

Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Reservoirs

The ORA will never be in favour of streamlining the regulatory, approvals and permitting processes as they were put in place to protect our natural environment and communities, and have already been significantly undermined.

Instead, we need strong and rigorous environmental assessment and robust public, Indigenous and stakeholder consultation if we are to build climate resilience into our air, land and freshwater resources.

I will briefly address my rationale and the dangers of streamlining the regulatory regime of hydroelectric facilities in particular, as it is commonly claimed by governments and industry to be ‘clean’, ‘green’ and ‘non-emitting. However, this is misleading the public at a pivotal time when we should be following the science.

Related Information:

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Please complete ORA’s Strategic Planning Survey

Photo by Mark Clement

UPDATE:   The winner of the $50 gift card in the Survey draw is John Larmer of Sudbury, Ontario!!   Congratulations John!

A BIG thank you to everyone who participated in our survey and helped ORA plan for our next 5 years!!!

The Ontario Rivers Alliance is in the process of reviewing and updating our 5-year Strategic Plan and is requesting your help.  The Survey results will have a direct impact on our strategic direction going forward, and your response is very important to ORA.

When you complete this survey, your name will be entered into a draw for a $50 Mountain Equipment Coop gift certificateSurvey is now closed.

VICTORY!! Schedule 10 removed from Bill 66

We all had a HUGE VICTORY yesterday!!  “Thank you” for taking part in ORA’s campaign to Speak Out Against Schedule 10 of Bill 66.  The Ontario government reported that they will be removing Schedule 10 from Bill 66.   A BIG THANKS to you and many other people, organizations and municipalities that rallied together to speak out against this regressive Bill.

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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  

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EBR 012-8840 – Ontario’s Long Term Energy Plan



The Ministry of Energy is undertaking a formal review of Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP), and comments were due on 16 December 2016.

The LTEP is a road map that will set the direction for Ontario’s energy future over the next 20 years.   More information on this EBR posting can be found here.

The Ministry of Energy must ensure that our electricity supply is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable and affordable.
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Springbank Dam Decommissioning

Springbank Dam, Thames River, London, ON

Springbank Dam, Thames River, London, ON

ORA and those listed below are writing in response to the recent settlement of the lawsuit over the Springbank Dam. We request serious consideration of our comments and recommendations regarding the future of the Springbank Dam, and its potential effects on public health and safety, on water quality, climate change, fisheries, and on the natural environment of the Thames River, Lake St Claire and Lake Erie, should it be returned to service.

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Approved Amendments to the Class EA for Waterpower

Misema River – After Hydro Facility

ORA has just received notification from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) that our request for amendments to the Class EA for Waterpower has been granted – in part.

While ORA did not have all our asks incorporated into this amendment, there were some very important gains.  For instance, we now have definitions for “Run-of-River”,  “Run-of-River with Modified Peaking” and “Kinetic Hydro”.    This was an important ask for ORA as many hydroelectric facilities refer to their operations as “Run-of-River” when in fact they are not – this results in many waterpower proposals going under the radar with little fuss from the public until it’s too late.   Run-of-river has been a catch-all term that seems to raise the least amount of attention because most people have an image in their mind of a turbine sitting in a portion of the river with water running freely through it, causing little harm to the river ecosystem.   However, in reality they often involve holding water back behind towering dams for release at a later time, or during peak demand hours.  The impacts resulting from a facility that stores water in holding ponds on either an hourly, daily or seasonal basis are much more severe than a true run-of-river operation.   It should now be clear as to what type of operation is actually being proposed.  This amendment is a significant inroad into bringing more integrity and clarity to the process.

We also now have a definition for “sustainable development”, additional guidance on notifying the public via the internet for a more transparent listing of active waterpower proposals, and a strengthening of the principles of transparency and trust.  Ultimately these minor amendments serve to improve the public consultation process.

A big thank you to the MOECC Environmental Approvals Branch and the Ontario Waterpower Association for these significant inroads!  This is a big win for everyone involved – and especially for Ontario rivers.

You can read the Director’s decision below for more detail about the amendments.   You can also read ORA’s original request and supporting correspondence here.

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Ontario Rivers Alliance – the challenges – the work

Please consider supporting ORA in our work to protect, conserve and restore Ontario river ecosystems.   The following presentation was made to the Green Prosperity Coalition to introduce our organization, and to talk about our concerns and what we’re doing to address them.   To find out how you can help you can go to our “Take Action” page. Continue reading