Water is essential for all life. Is Ontario doing enough to protect it?
With Ontario facing significant increased development, Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA), Ontario Environment Network (OEN), and Ontario Headwaters Institute (OHI) are pleased to announce WaterScape, which will stage a series of community discussions during the first three weeks of February in an arc running from Niagara, up toward Barrie, and across toward Peterborough, in collaboration with local partners.
The goal of WaterScape is to educate and engage interested individuals and organizations about Ontario’s water protection policies, particularly in response to a current government proposal: Protecting Water for Future Generations: Growing the Greenbelt in the Outer Ring.
Protecting Water for Future Generations proposes the identification and mapping of key aquatic features as a basis for the potential expansion of the Greenbelt, which offers greater protection than is provided for water outside of the Greenbelt. It was posted to the Environmental Registry in December, can be seen at 013-1661, and comments are due March 7, 2018.
Protecting Water for Future Generations seeks input on:
The partners in WaterScape support protecting key water features from increased development by expanding the Greenbelt. We also believe that broader discussion on protecting Ontario’s water and future generations is required. Key issues that need to be addressed include:
- Identifying key aquatic features in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, such as moraines, coldwater streams and wetlands, to provide increased protection due to forecast development under the Growth Plan;
- Developing a process to map these features and potentially include them in the Greenbelt; and,
- Other factors to be considered when mapping a proposed expansion to the Greenbelt boundary, such as development, agriculture, natural heritage, aggregates, infrastructure, and any other local consideration.
WaterScape’s immediate goals are to encourage interested individuals and organizations to exercise their rights, guaranteed by the Environmental Bill of Rights, to participate in the government’s current consultation on Protecting Water for Future Generations, and to expand the discussion of needed steps for water security and resilience across Ontario.
- Are the increased measures in the Greenbelt adequate to the need to protect water there?
- Are there other areas of the province where increased protection for water should be applied? and,
- Is the Province doing enough to protect water?
Please stay tuned. We anticipate announcing meeting locations and dates on January 29.
As we work to finalize these meetings, we’d be interested in chatting with other groups who may wish to help realize these community discussions to better protect Ontario’s water.
If you would like to help, please contact Andrew McCammon of the OHI at 416 231 9484 or via andrew(@) ontarioheadwaters.ca
Canadian Environmental Law Association
Ontario Environment Network
Ontario Headwaters Institute