Allison Merla, Environmental Group, Vale, made a presentation (see below) at the VRS General Meeting on 9 October 2019 to our membership.2019-10-09 Wabagishik GS Update for VRS
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 Provincial Government announced that Schedule 10 will be withdrawn from Bill 66 because of the huge public outcry.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.
The ECO’s report listed 44 municipalities across Ontario that continue to use Combined Sewer Systems (CSSs); however, the City of Sudbury was not included in that list in spite of the fact that we have several wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) with CSSs within the Vermilion River Watershed.
The importance of creating, maintaining and protecting natural infrastructure such as wetlands, swales and vegetated buffers cannot be overstated when it comes to flood management and filtering stormwater runoff. Policies supporting this concept would go a long way towards reducing some of the stormwater infiltration into the wastewater collection systems.
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.
Bob Florean is retired from 38 years working for the Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry, as a Fish & Wildlife Specialist and Stewardship Coordinator. Bob is also an avid fisherman, whose outdoor related passions include working with various community stewardship champions to enhance, protect and restore compromised natural resource values. Bob is also the founder of the award winning Manitoulin Streams Improvement Assoc.