The Ontario Government recently passed Bill 229– the Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act. This may seem all well and good...but it’s not! A hidden clause, schedule 6, removes Conservation Authority control over the protection of our precious wetlands, forests, wildlife habitat and natural spaces to give developers the power to push through projects that could have devastating impacts on our natural heritage.
Why should we care about this?
Conservation Authorities, like our local Grand River Conservation Authority, are the very reason that we have such beautiful and diverse places to hike, cycle, canoe and fish – and also why we are so blessed with an abundance of healthy wildlife habitat for many species of wildlife, including those that are endangered. If we lose these spaces, we can’t get them back. And with Bill 229, that’s what we are facing.
Conservation Authorities protect natural spaces that provide critical green infrastructure services for the health and well-being of our communities. For example, wetlands play an essential role in protecting us from flooding and drought at a critical time when climate change is expected to increase the frequency and severity of severe weather events. The consequences of losing these integral wetland ecosystems to development projects poses serious social and economic threats at unprecedented scales.
As we struggle to deal with this pandemic on so many fronts, we also need to be thinking about how we want our communities to look in the future. We’ve been hearing that we need to support our local businesses and buy Canadian-made goods and services, and we have risen to the occasion to support them. As part of this comradery and investment, we also need to stand up for and take care of our environment. Conservation Authorities need our voice to ensure a future of local trails, wetland and habitat protection and so much more!
What can we do?
Sign the petition requesting that Premier Ford and your MPP repeal Schedule 6 from the Act., and maintain the role of Conservation Authorities.
Share this post with others – the more signatures we can get in support of Ontario conservation, the better Ontario and Ontarians will be tomorrow!