Wetland conservation in Ontario: Review

30 October 2015

The Greenspace Alliance today sent in responses to questions posed in a July 2015 Discussion Paper (7.8 MB) from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry on Wetland Conservation in Ontario (EBR #012-4464).  Key points made include that we should start from the position of protecting all wetlands, as do Quebec and Alberta, and that the legislative framework needs to be strengthened to be more protective of wetlands.

The full submission is here.

Ken McRae’s comments on this discussion paper, as well as on the Conservation Authorities Act review, are here.  Comments by the Ontario River Institute are here.

8 August 2016

In a second round, the Ministry has posted another discussion paper (EBR 012-7675), 56 pp., 9.7 MB.  Comments are due November 16, 2016.

November 2016

We received draft comments from Ontario Nature as well as a submission by Fragile Inheritance Natural History (Fred Schueler and Alina Karstad).  We drafted our own letter, supporting these excellent comments and adding some of our own for emphasis.  However, in the end, we co-signed, along with 34 other environmental organizations, the Ontario Nature submission.  Earlier, ON had already sent a similar letter to the Minister, endorsed by 17 organizations.

20 July 2017

The EBR posting generated 654 comments. Significant changes to the strategy were made as a result, including strengthened targets by including a baseline, a more aggressive timeline and achieving a net gain in areas where wetland loss has been the greatest (i.e. in southern Ontario).

The final document is here:

http://apps.mnr.gov.on.ca/public/files/er/a-wetland-conservation-strategy-for-ontario-2017-2030.pdf

The Ministry clarifies that the development of a wetland offsetting policy will be a distinct process, and involve further consultation with all sectors.