August 31st, 2017
"The Growth Plan was intended to foster a more restrictive regulatory framework than the Provincial Policy Statement. This hope is clearly threatened for the two proposed mapping policies now under review."
Currently, the Ontario government is conducting an important exercise for the mapping of agricultural and natural heritage systems for the Growth Plan. This is an area from Simcoe County to Niagara, which has a different layer of protection than what supposed to be the minimal standards of the Planning Act’s Provincial Policy Statement (PPS). The proposed criteria may weaken existing mapping policies contained in municipal plans based on the PPS.
What is disturbing about the proposed mapping criteria for agriculture lands is that it suggests new economic criteria for determining the designations of varied agricultural designations. Currently there are basically three agricultural designations for the Growth Plan’s rural areas. These are Specialty Crop, Good General Agricultural lands and Rural lands.
If the recommendations are adopted, all of these agricultural designations which in the past have been based on soil and climate, will consider other factors such as distance to market. This offers the dangerous prospect of more intense severance activity, which can encourage water pollution through the need to rely on septic tanks, in the booming Growth Plan’s rural landscape.
…Read more on Sierra Club Ontario’s website
Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has quietly submitted an application to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), seeking to amend licenses for twelve nuclear facilities on the shore of Lake Ontario. These amendments will allow unlimited import and export of nuclear substances between Canada, the United States, and other nations. These nuclear substances include: waste, equipment, materials, shielding, packaging, and laundry. Some international transport of nuclear substances already occurs. However, the amendments will remove restrictions on the amount of material that may be imported and exported.
This proposal will impact more than just OPG's profit margins. It will directly affect the public, introducing unnecessary health risks and the potential for an environmental disaster. Nuclear substances in transit face the possibility of accidents, spills, fires, or sabotage. Exact transport routes between Canada and the United States are classified and varied for security reasons. However, there are fourteen road border crossings, more than a thousand kilometres of highway, and a myriad of unforeseeable circumstances in between.
… Read more on Sierra Club Ontario’s website
The success of ecosystems of any shape, size or type depends on the health of the resources that it relies upon. Ontario is home is a diverse collection of ecosystems, yet every year, more plants and animals are added to Ontario’s list of species at risk, which now numbers more than 200. Like a game of Jenga, if species are removed from the ecosystem like blocks from a Jenga tower, it will not take long until that tower collapses. With 38 per cent of Canadians living in Ontario, urban sprawl in southern Ontario is increasing at an alarming rate- which means forests and wetlands are being paved over, weakening the watersheds they support. However, the loss of forests, wetlands and watersheds will lead to severe biodiversity loss, which impacts the health of both human and non-human species.
Lake Ontario is home to and provides a source of drinking water to 9 million people living in Ontario and New York and more Canadians live on Lake Ontario’s watershed than another in Canada. This makes Lakes Ontario essential to the biodiversity in Southern Ontario and North-Eastern America. Among the five major lakes within the Great Lakes, Lake Ontario is by far the most polluted of the group, followed closely by Lake Erie.
According to the Lake Ontario Waterkeepers, the “greatest threats to Lake Ontario come from urban development, electricity generation, and sewage and storm water pollution.” The waters of the Great Lakes travel through Lake Ontario, which flow into the St. Lawrence River until they reach the Atlantic Ocean, and thus the pollution from other lakes is either deposited in Lake Ontario or makes it way into the ocean. The impact that we have on the Great Lakes, not only impacts our local communities and ecosystems in Canada, but impacts the water sources on a global scale.
… Read more on Sierra Club Ontario’s website.
Do you have a passion for the environment and want to help take action on climate change?
Would you like to be part of something bigger and make an impact in your community?
Are you looking to get back in shape and achieve your 2017 fitness goals?
If you answered YES to one (or more) of those questions, then come join our Sierra Club Canada team as we partake in this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon as an official charity partner of the 2017 Scotiabank Charity Challenge!
Mark the event details in your calendar:
What: Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon
[5K, Half Marathon or Full Marathon]
When: 8am on Sunday October 22nd 2017
Where: Downtown Toronto
...Find out more and register on Sierra Club Ontario’s website!
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