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 Provincial Government announced that Schedule 10 will be withdrawn from Bill 66 because of the huge public outcry.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.
Wabagishik Rapids, Vermilion River
The Vermilion River has been under threat from the proposed development of 4 modified run-of-river hydroelectric facilities since finding out about them late in 2010. The proposed Wabagishik Rapids Generating Station was the first of the 4 to move forward, and in November of 2013, the Vermilion River Stewardship, Ontario Rivers Alliance, and over twenty other individuals and organizations made Part II Order requests to the Minister of Environment, indicating that in our opinion Xeneca Power Development Inc. (Xeneca) did not meet the requirements of the Class EA for Waterpower in several areas, and requested that the Environmental Report (ER) be elevated to an Individual Environmental Assessment, a more rigorous environmental assessment. Read more →
VRS is recommending that a portion of the funding be assigned to a Master Watershed Study for the Vermilion River Watershed. This study would take a big picture perspective, and consider the cumulative effects that development, stormwater runoff, and wastewater and mining effluent are having on the Vermilion River. This would better inform potential mitigation measures required for the subwatersheds contained within it.
The Vermilion River Stewardship (VRS), is grateful for this opportunity to comment on the draft Terms of Reference (ToR) for the Ramsey Lake Watershed Study; however, the short deadline for comments has made it challenging to make a thorough review. VRS requests that a minimum comment period of 30 days be provided in all future requests for public feedback. This would allow for an adequate opportunity to review and prepare a comprehensive and meaningful submission.
This is the result of a 3 year water quality sampling project on the Lower Vermilion River, within the Vermilion River Watershed.
A big thank you to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for funding this important Project!!
Another big thank you goes out to KGHM International Ltd. for their generous donation and for Conservation Sudbury’s in-kind contribution towards the extension of our Project into the 3rd year!!2016-08-05-VRS-FinalReport