Your Protected Places Webinar

canoe on lake - Derek Sutton

Join Ontario Nature on May 27th for an informative discussion about expanding Ontario’s protected areas. During the Your Protected Places webinar, we will consider emerging opportunities and unveil a collective StoryMap showcasing special places across the province that people would like to permanently set aside from development for future generations. 

Though the Government of Ontario recently announced its intention to protect more natural areas, it provided no public process for offering input on where or how protected areas should be established. To raise awareness and open up the conversation, Ontario Nature, the David Suzuki Foundation, the Wilderness Committee, the Carolinian Canada Coalition, CPAWS-Ottawa Valley and Environmental Defence have invited people from across the province to contribute candidates for the Your Protected Places StoryMap. 

Read more

Phasing-out Ontario’s gas-fired power plants

Lennox-power-station-Bath-Ontario

The greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution from Ontario’s gas-fired power plants will increase by more than 300% by 2030 and by 500% or more by 2040 as the province uses gas to replace aging nuclear plants and to meet growing demand for electricity from population growth and increased electrification (electric cars, home heating). If this occurs, Ontario will lose roughly 40% of the pollution reduction benefits it achieved by phasing-out its dirty coal plants.

Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) is launching a public engagement process on how Ontario can reduce its greenhouse gas pollution by phasing out its gas-fired power plants. This is your chance to tell the IESO that we need to phase out gas by 2030 to help our climate and clear our air.

Read more

Highway 413 designated for Federal Environmental Assessment

Hwy 400 crossing the Holland Marsh

We are elated to share the News! The federal government has decided to go ahead with an environmental assessment of the controversial GTA West Highway.

Federal Environmental Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said in his statement issued on Monday “after consideration of the available science, evidence and other relevant information gathered by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC), as well as the agency’s recommendation to designate the GTA West project, I have decided to designate this project under the federal impact assessment process.”  

Wilkinson said that the IAAC had identified “clear areas of federal concern related to the project. My decision is based on their finding that this project may cause adverse direct or incidental effects on federally listed species at risk and the uncertainty that officials have brought to my attention around whether these updates can be mitigated through project design or existing mechanisms.”

Read more

Bill 238 – Moving Ontarians More Safely Act (MOMS Act)

Toronto Streetcar

What’s in the MOMS Act?

The Act gives Toronto permission to install safety cameras on streetcars to find and fine drivers who speed by a streetcar at a transit stop, putting riders at risk.

The Act also includes Bill 148 The Doored But Not Ignored Bill to provide better protections for cyclists. Dooring is one of the most common causes of injury for cyclists, but it’s not considered a collision under the Highway Traffic Act. That means a cyclist can end up in an emergency room after being hit by a car door, but the police aren’t required to report the incident or charge the driver. If passed, this Act will mean that accidents involving a vehicle’s door coming into contact with a cyclist, bicycle or moving vehicle must be reported to the nearest police officer.

Read more

Growing the Greenbelt – ERO Submission

Highway 401 Greenbelt

Under the leadership of Ontario Nature, a joint submission was made to Honourable Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing on April 19, 2021 for ERO # 019-3136 addressing the six consultation questions. This submission was made on behalf of 120 organizations across Ontario, including the Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods.

  1. What are your thoughts on the initial focus area of the Study Area of the Paris Galt Moraine?
  2. What are the considerations in moving from a Study Area to a more defined boundary of the Paris Galt Moraine?
  3. What are your thoughts on the initial focus area of adding, expanding and further protecting Urban River Valleys?
  4. Do you have suggestions for other potential areas to grow the Greenbelt?

Read more

Municipal Conflict of Interest Act

Toronto City Hall council chamber

In January, 2021, we provided information on the Public Inquiry which recommended a conflict-of-interest overhaul for municipal councillors referencing Frank Marrocco’s report – Report of the Collingwood Judicial Inquiry, Transparency and the Public Trust.  One of his recommendations is to broaden the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act to expand the definition of the personal or family interest that can put a politician in a conflict of interest.

On March 5, 2021, the Government of Ontario announced it would be launching consultations with “municipal officials” to obtain input about how to strengthen accountability measures to ensure that members of council maintain a safe and respectful workplace. Those consultations will be led by Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues, the Honourable Jill Dunlop.

The Ontario government has launched a 90-day consultation (April 14 to July 15 2021) to obtain feedback on how to strengthen municipal codes of conduct. With the support of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO), the province is working to better ensure that municipalities, councillors and heads of council maintain a safe and respectful workplace. 

Read more

Paving Paradise: the impact of the 413

Toronto Highway

From Environmental Defense:

We wanted to get a sense of the impact Highway 413 could have on climate change and air pollution, so we hired a transportation modelling team to add up how much pollution, and how much sprawl Ontarians could be facing if Highway 413 is built.

The evidence shows that by adding hundreds of thousands of polluting cars, SUVs and trucks to Ontario’s roads, Highway 413 will make climate change worse and harm the health of people, communities, and sensitive ecosystems. It also shows how a new highway will help developers build out and not up, abandoning sustainable, dense, vibrant cities for sprawling car-dependent subdivisions that force people to travel even farther to get where they need to go.

Read more

Invitation to FUN’s 2021 AGM

High Park Spring blossoms

Saturday, June 5, 2021 2:00-3:00 pm

FUN depends on our members understanding issues and contributing to their resolution. We share information, concerns and expertise with our member organizations, other groups and all levels of government. We need your involvement to continue our work speaking on behalf of community organizations across the Province.

Read more

Highway 413 Webinar

Stop the 413

Environmental Defence hosted a Highway 413 Webinair on March 23 focused on how the highway will impact Caledon and what we can do about it. If you weren’t able to join, the information is available to watch again on YouTube.

Watch the Highway 413 Caledon community discussion here.

Do you want to take action to stop Highway 413 from ripping through our farmland, communities and river valleys? There’s so much you can do to make your voice heard:

Read more