Promoting Watershed Security in Ontario – Water for People and for Nature

Just a few weeks ago, we shared with the public and reminded the government that its “Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan” was still a draft, languishing for what is now 4 years and 9 months on the Environmental Registry of Ontario without a decision notice. 1,155 signatories to our petition agreed that the government should finalize the plan. Now, in its myopic desire to kill the Greenbelt, the government has “discovered” the need for a 10-year review of said Greenbelt. Funny. It has never done a thorough review of the Provincial Policy Statement, as required, even though it has amended it 3 times.  Funny, it launched the 10-year review of the Lake Simcoe Protection Act more than a year late, and has still not even responded to submissions more than 3 years later. On the Greenbelt, it seems to have completely forgotten its 2020/2021 consultation on Growing the Size of the Greenbelt, ERO 019-3136.

For our part, more than 120 organizations and individuals supported a 25-page submission urging the government to embrace a once-in-a-generation opportunity to safeguard our regional resilience by substantially extending the Greenbelt into the broader area of the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Specific recommendations, found in OHI Submission ERO 019 – 3136 April 19,  included expansion into The Paris-Galt Moraine, the Natural Heritage and Agricultural Systems across the Greater Golden Horseshoe, land and waters in the Bluebelt proposal, and, other key headwater areas. Not a word has been heard since 2021.

The new Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing might want to obtain a briefing and meet with stakeholders before suggesting he wants to make more Greenbelt carveouts.