Tag Archives: amendment

Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act – MNR Technical Bulletins – EBR 012-0562 – ORA Submission

Wabagishik Rapids, Vermilion River

Our intention in commenting on these bulletins is to help ensure that waterpower projects developed under the LRIA are not approved until the effects on the environment and aquatic ecosystems are fully identified, understood, and effectively mitigated.  It is also vital that the public has a mandated role and a voice in these processes.

It is also disturbing that the MNR is considering all responsibility for fish habitat and fish passage as out of scope, and is divesting its interests by way of these bulletins, with no clear MNR role mentioned, to the Department of Oceans and Fisheries (DFO).  This is at a time when the federal government has just announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the DFO and the National Energy Board (NEB) to relinquish much of its oversight of fish habitat along pipeline corridors.  This news was quietly released just before Christmas, and only highlights the need for the Ontario government to look after its own interests and not rely on federal protection for any of our crown resources.  Unfortunately many elements of these bulletins do the very opposite.  It is even more disturbing that this deferral was carried out despite the Fish Habitat Compliance and Referral Protocols for Ontario which was approved by government and identifies and enables roles for MNR in the matters of fish habitat and fish passage.

The exercise of reviewing these technical bulletins has been very disturbing to say the least.  It is as though the bulletins were written by the waterpower industry instead of MNR. This series of bulletins reflect an abdication of the MNRs responsibilities under the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act (LRIA).

It is ORA’s view that this government must continue to play a strong role in ensuring effective mitigation of the impacts of development to meet their strategic directions for sustainable development; and certainly that will be what Ontario taxpayers expect.  It is vital that these bulletins reflect a commitment for inter-governmental cooperation, in a holistic and collaborative way, to ensure there are no gaps in fulfilling all responsibilities and commitments legislated under LRIA.

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EBR 011-7696 – Proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act – FRDA to MNR

FRENCH RIVER DELTA ASSOCIATION
857 Hartley Bay Road
RR 2 Site 10 Comp 4
Alban, Ontario P0M 1A0

January 18, 2013

Krista Adams
Senior Permits & Agreements Specialist
Ministry of Natural Resources, Policy Division
Species at Risk Branch
Permits and Agreements Section
300 Water Street, Floor 2
Peterborough, Ontario
K9J 8M5

Dear Ms. Adams:

Re: EBR Registry Number: 011-7696, Proposed approaches to the implementation of the Endangered Species Act which could include regulatory amendments to authorize activities to occur subject to conditions set out in regulation consistent with MNR’s Modernization of Approvals

The proposed regulatory changes contained in EBR 011-7696 are vague and will not meet MNR’s responsibility to endangered species and their habitat maintenance and protection.
While the ambiguity of this MNR and provincial cabinet’s proposal will serve MNR’s and cabinet’s partners in the mining, energy, forestry, and aggregate industries, it will not meet the primary purpose of the Endangered Species Act which is to protect endangered and threatened species and their habitats required for survival.

It is intriguing to note that the spring 2012 budget proposed amendments to the Endangered Species Act. These proposed exemptions – circumvention of permitting requirements, and removal of deadlines for recovery planning – faced serious public opposition and the budget amendments to the ESA were dropped. To now reposition the budget amendments as regulatory changes, which require only cabinet approval, is irresponsible, misleading and shows the continuing disrespect that cabinet and the MNR have towards the public, and as importantly, endangered species and their habitats. Continue reading