In mid-February, Ontario tabled its third draft of a Great Lakes Protection Act, the two previous versions having died on the order paper when the Legislature was suspended.
The new draft represents a stellar accomplishment, adding broad philosophical commitments to the Preamble and deftly polishing comments made in consultations and submissions.
For example, three of six areas of concern to the Ontario Headwaters Institute have been addressed: the need to more fully embrace watershed management; improved engagement of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry in a bill from the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change; and the correction of an unintended factual error. Comments from other organizations, on issues such as the need to respond to algal blooms, have been similarly incorporated.
The OHI will continue to offer suggestions to improve the draft act and how the province is addressing our watershed management and other water priorities. In the meantime, our compliments to the Government and the staff who did the work required to craft a significantly improved draft of the Act.