Nature needs our help!
HNC has a long tradition of advocacy. Now more than ever, each one of us needs to be the “voice for our wildlife and natural areas that the HNC has been since 1919. We need to share our concerns with others who love nature and with our elected officials. In 2018, we saw a systemic dismantling of a number of Ontario’s environmental and protection acts and programs. In October, Bill 4 passed cancelling cap and trade. The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario’s office is due to close in 2019. HNC sends our concerns as a club but there is power in numbers. Sending your own comments makes a difference!
Here are some alerts:
Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018: https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/013-4293. HNC has signed a letter with Ontario Nature. As Caroline Schultz, Executive Director of Ontario Nature said in an urgent email sent to members of Carolinian East ON network, of which we are part. She said:
If enacted, Schedule 10 of Bill 66 will amend the Planning Act to enable municipalities to pass “open-for-business planning by-laws” aimed at facilitating new major development in order to create employment. However, Schedule 10 provides that these by-laws do not have to comply with important environmental protections and land use controls established under other provincial laws, plans and policies including the Planning Act, Greenbelt Act, 2005 and Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, 2001.
Schedule 10 also provides that section 39 of the Clean Water Act, 2006 does not apply to an open-for-business planning by-law. The Clean Water Act was passed in response to the Walkerton tragedy, and section 39 requires provincial and municipal decisions to conform to policies in Clean Water Act-approved source protection plans that address significant drinking water threats. Schedule 10’s exclusion of section 39 of the Clean Water Act means that these by-laws can approve development in vulnerable areas that may threaten surface water and groundwater used by municipal drinking water systems, which serve 80 per cent of Ontarians.
Because of its impact on the Planning Act and the Clean Water Act, Schedule 10 undermines land use protections in all municipalities in Ontario and in source water protection regions across Ontario including Niagara Region, Longpoint Region and Halton-Hamilton in your region.
Please direct your members to Ontario Nature’s petition letter to Premier Doug Ford, Minister Todd Smith, Minister Steve Clark and Minister Rod Phillips. People can also have the email sent to their local MPP if they fill in their postal code. Here is the link to the Action Alert with the letter: https://ontarionature.good.do/schedule10/sign/
The act is available on line https://www.ola.org/sites/default/files/node-files/bill/document/pdf/2018/2018-12/b066_e.pdf Comments due by Jan 20th.
Planning & reporting changes under the toxics reduction program & Ontario regulation 455/09: https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/013-4235 Lynda Lukasik talked about this in a Spec article, Dec 13, 2018 https://www.thespec.com/news-story/9080351-end-of-toxic-substances-program-criticized-hamilton-advocates/ Comments due Jan 20, 2019. To learn about Ontario’s Environmental Registry which is based on Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights, and to register for alerts go to website https://ero.ontario.ca/