The VRS recognizes the importance of finding a more equitable and sustainable way to pay for stormwater management. However, it would be best to do this by charging an additional surtax on properties with large impervious surfaces. In addition, the City should offer Green Tax Credits for those property owners removing hard surfaces and incorporating naturalized areas and green infrastructure that filters and absorbs stormwater where it falls. These measures would help fund the increased stormwater costs, discourage grey infrastructure, and encourage green infrastructure to lessen stormwater runoff.
VRS strongly supports the proposed amendments in Part 4, General Provisions, Section 4.41 Waterbodies – Water Frontage, Setbacks and Buffers as follows…
If the design objective is to meet and provide peak flow control for storm events, it is necessary to plan beyond the 1:100-year peak flow, and instead plan for the new norm of a 1:1000-year flood event. Planning for the appropriate peak flow is crucial to building climate resilience and meeting the demand over the full lifecycle of the infrastructure. If an inadequate peak flow formula is used it could result in significant additional costs to the City if it has to repair or tear up failing infrastructure to rebuild and increase capacity before it has reached its end-life. “Even a 1000-year return period has a 5% risk of being equalled or exceeded in a 50-year period.”
The specific areas of concern (AOC) for the VRS are the Margaret, Anne and Three Corner Lake areas in Louise and Lorne Townships. The forest area within and surrounding this triangle of lakes has cultural heritage landscape values and is of significance to this community. The area has been used for cross country skiing, snowmobiling, hunting, trapping and fishing by the Finnish Community since the early 1900s.
The Vermilion River and its connecting lakes should be promoted and recognized as a Heritage Feature because of its rich cultural, historical and social value. The Vermilion River is not even mentioned in the Plan, which we submit is a major gap.
The extremes of climate change will affect the operation of critical infrastructure such as water and wastewater treatment plants, sewers, the electrical grid, public transport and roads that are sensitive to temperature and weather thresholds. Beyond these thresholds, infrastructure may have reduced capacity or may not function at all.
Update: Victory!! Provincial Government announced that Schedule 10 will be withdrawn from Bill 66 because of the huge public outcry. People power works!
A big thanks to all those who signed petitions and contacted their MPPs!!
The Government of Ontario is proposing Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018. It is unacceptable that Schedule 10 of this Bill would enable municipalities to simply pass an “open-for-business planning by-law” under the Planning Act, to exempt local development from the application of key components of several important provincial laws, plans and policies, including the:
• Clean Water Act, 2006, Section 39
• Great Lakes Protection Act, 2015, Section 20
• Greenbelt Act, 2005, Section 7
• Lake Simcoe Protection Act, 2008, Section 6, and
• Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, 2003, Section 7
It’s also extremely troubling that a municipal open-for-business planning by-law would not be subject to public notice, comment or appeal provisions which are currently mandatory under the Planning Act. Read more →
It is crucial that we reject Bill 66, as risky development decisions made in this jurisdiction or adjacent municipalities could have negative impacts on Sudbury’s air, land and/or water, as well as the Great Lakes and many other highly valued ecosystems. Being “Open for Business” is a good thing, unless it is at the expense of public health and safety or the environment.
We submit that the following items that are prioritized by the local environmental community rank highly in terms of Strategic Priority, as well as Financial Considerations, Risk Management and/or Asset Renewal, and should be funded as priority projects in the 2019 municipal budget.
Watershed and subwatershed studies should include water quality and water quantity considerations to help maintain and enhance natural freshwater systems, including fisheries and aquatic habitat. These considerations should be guided by commonly accepted and held principles, including an ecosystem-based approach, a landscape-based analysis, cumulative effects, the precautionary approach, adaptive management, and sustainable development.
What are the goals and objectives of this study? There is very little information about the subwatershed study, but instead appears to be primarily designed to manage stormwater run-off to prevent flooding and development impacts.