issues & actions
In July 2023 we endorsed a letter written by Ontario Nature Network to the Ontario Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, requesting the government to implement key recommendations included in a report written by a government-appointed Protected Areas Working Group in 2021 entitled A New Approach: Advancing Protected and Conserved Areas in Ontario. The recommendations were submitted in 2021 but only released through a Freedom of Information request in June 2023. The specific recommendations included: – partner with Indigenous Nations, engage the public, municipalities and interested groups to implement a strategy to protect 30 percent of lands and waters by 2030, and establish funding and resources to support these projects. See more details here: https://ontarionature.org/protected-areas-working-group-report-blog/
- In July 2023 we (along with 59 other organizations) endorsed a letter from Environmental Defence Canada and the David Suzuki Foundation asking the Federal Government to release Clean Electricity Regulations. Here is a copy of the letter: https://bit.ly/cleanelectricitycanada
- In June, 2023 we (along with 61 other organizations) endorsed Ontario Nature’s Environmental Registry of Ontario (ERO) submission which strongly objected to the government’s proposed changes to the Provincial Policy Statement and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe that would drastically alter the direction of land use planning and promote sprawl in the province. Natural spaces, farmland and even affordable housing were under threat by these changes. Here is a copy of the submission: https://nvecoboosters.com/ERO 019-6813 submission.pdf
- In May, 2023 we endorsed an Alliance for a Liveable Ontario report which summarized that if proposed changes to the provincial planning laws are implemented, they will turbocharge sprawl and fatally harm Ontario’s agricultural sector and environment.
- An email was received from former Township of Wilmot Councillor Angie Hallman requesting NVEB support for a new bill that is going to be introduced by Liberal MPP Mary-Margaret McMahon. Bill 56: Fewer Floods , Safer Ontario Act would, if passed, enact several measures related to public awareness of flooding issues. A letter of support was sent on March 27, 2023.
- On January 10, 2023, we sent a letter to the members of the Township of Wilmot Council indicating NVEB’s support for the reinstatement of the Township’s Sustainability Working Group.
- On December 15, 2022 we endorsed a letter from Ontario Nature to Graydon Smith, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, commenting on a proposed offsetting policy that applies to all natural heritage features, not just wetlands. The letter: “Conserving Ontario’s Natural Heritage,” can be found at this link: https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-6161
- In November 2022 we joined the Alliance for a Livable Ontario, a “big tent” for organizations and individuals who want to work together to create livable communities, protected farmland and conservation lands, and real solutions to Ontario’s housing crisis.
- On November 23, 2022 we endorsed two letters from Ontario Nature to Graydon Smith, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, regarding the Bill-23 proposed changes to wetlands and the greenbelt.
- On November 11, 2022 we endorsed a joint statement on Bill 23 prepared by several organizations and experts including
Ontario Nature, farm organizations, planners, and academics. The statement, entitled: The Problems with Bill 23 and the Proposal to Remove Lands from the Greenbelt, was publicly released on November 21st. Over 125 organizations representing farmers, housing advocates, urban planners, environmentalists, labour, healthcare workers and community members signed. The joint statement can be found at this link: https://ontarionature.org/news-release/joint-statement-bill-23-and-greenbelt/
On September 20, 2022 we endorsed a letter, written by the Ontario Climate Emergency Campaign and addressed to CBC Executives. The letter asked the CBC to “report regularly, candidly, and comprehensively on the situation, events, implications, and responses required to address our climate crisis”. More details can be found here: https://climatefast.ca/open-letter-cbc
In June 2022 we delegated to the Region of Waterloo Planning & Works Committee about a preferred option for the Region of Waterloo Official Plan. We felt that this option (Community Option #4) was a superior path forward that has no farmland loss and goes the furthest to create the sustainable communities we need.
On May 25, 2022 we added our name to a global sign-on-letter written by Environmental Defense Canada which urged the world’s five largest plastic polluters to reduce their plastic use by developing reusable and refillable packaging. Here is a copy of the letter: https://nvecoboosters.com/Top5Polluters.pdf
On May 9, 2022 we endorsed the Ontario Nature joint letter to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing regarding the Government of Ontario pushing through changes to the Planning Act without due consultation and violating the Environmental Bill of rights. Here is the news release about this issue: https://ontarionature.org/news-release/environmental-rights/
In May 2022 we endorsed the Ontario Climate Emergency Campaign (OCEC). This campaign has brought together diverse groups from across the province including environmental, health, labour, education, community-based, businesses, and others, to support an urgent action plan for our provincial government. The plan provides a list of actions that the OCEC is urging the government to take to tackle the climate emergency. Here are the details of the OCEC’s 12 point climate action plan: https://www.ontarioclimateemergency.ca/group-sign-on
On April 18, 2022 we signed a joint Environmental Registry submission from Ontario Nature regarding the proposed provincial Greenbelt Expansion. A much more ambitious approach is needed to protect precious farmland, groundwater and natural areas across the Greater Golden Horseshoe and build the region’s resilience to climate change. Here is a copy of the submission: https://nvecoboosters.com/GreenbeltexpansionFINAL.pdf
On April 17, 2022 we endorsed a letter from Ontario Nature to the leaders of the Progressive Conservative, NDP, Liberal and Green parties of Ontario asking for strong, actionable commitments to address the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change. Here is a copy of the letter: https://nvecoboosters.com/Letter to party leaders FINAL.pdf
On March 9, 2022, we endorsed the following two letters from Ontario Nature:
(a) To the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks supporting the proposed designation of the south shore of Prince Edward County as a Conservation Reserve under the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, 2006: https://nvecoboosters.com/ERO019-4597CR.pdf
(b) To the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing asking that upcoming changes to Ontario’s Building Code incorporate provisions requiring bird-friendly construction, as set out in the Canadian Standards Association A460:19 Bird-friendly building design standard: https://nvecoboosters.com/ERO019-4974buildingcode.pdf
- On March 1, 2022 a letter was delivered to Sharon Chambers, Chief Administrative Officer for the Township of Wilmot. The letter addresses some concerns that the Nith Valley EcoBoosters have with regards to the independent experts’ report on the proposed Hallman gravel pit. Here is a copy of the letter: https://nvecoboosters.com/hallmanpit.pdf
- On January 18, 2022, we sent a letter to the Township of Wilmot Council to express our concerns regarding the Wilmot MZO request submitted by Cachet Developments (the developer). This request was for an entirely new town – Wilmot Village – between New Hamburg and Baden with homes for thousands of people, seniors apartments, supposedly affordable housing, employment lands, retail stores, a transit hub, and even an agrihub. Here is a copy of our letter: https://nvecoboosters.com/wilmotmzo.pdf We also sent the following list of questions to the developer on January 27: https://nvecoboosters.com/cachetquestions.pdf
- In November 2021 we delegated to the Region of Waterloo Council about some troubling aspects of the draft Region of Waterloo Official Plan (ROP). The ROP is the 30-year plan that is legally binding for where and how the Region is going to grow – i.e. how much greenfield sprawl is allowed, will the Countryside Line be breached, how much industrial land does the Region need, how much intensification will be planned for, etc.
- In May 2021 we continued to support the group Citizens for Safe Ground Water who are opposing the approval of a gravel pit in our community by delegating at a Township of Wilmot Council meeting.
Endorsed a submission from Ontario Nature in April 2021 to the Ontario Government providing insights and recommendations on how to grow and enhance the quality of the Greenbelt and thereby better protect the vital benefits provided by farmland, water resources and natural areas within the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Here is a copy of the submission: https://nvecoboosters.com/GrowGreenbelt.pdf
- On January 24, 2021 we endorsed a submission from Ontario Nature to the Ontario Government regarding the government’s current consultation on Minister’s Zoning Orders (MZOs). MZOs allow the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to directly zone land for particular purposes without public notice or consultation or the right to appeal. There has been a sharp increase in the use of MZOs over the past year, opening the door to controversial developments on agricultural lands and significant natural areas. Here is a copy of the submission: http://nvecoboosters.com/MZO.pdf
- We responded in December 2020 to a posting on the Environmental Registry of Ontario by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks, indicating that we have concerns about and do not support the proposed Species at Risk Conservation Fund. Instead of completing beneficial actions for species impacted by the destruction of their habitats, proponents will have the option of going ahead with harmful activities as soon as they pay into the fund. Once they pay, they can wash their hands of responsibility for the harm they cause. We do not support the government’s plan to proceed with implementing the Fund. It will lead to an increase in habitat loss and degradation.
- We sent a letter to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing in December 2020 in support of the Township of Wilmot’s application to implement a sanitary backwater valve program for residences and businesses located in the floodplain in New Hamburg. We applaud the Township for taking these steps to mitigate the effects of flooding. Here is a copy of the letter that was sent: http://nvecoboosters.com/valves.pdf
- We sent a letter to Mike Harris, MPP Kitchener-Conestoga, in November 2020 to request that he oppose and urge the removal of Schedule 6 in Bill 229, the proposed changes to the Conservation Authorities Act which would undermine efforts to conserve biodiversity and build resilience to climate change impacts. We also urged Mr. Harris to support proposals to protect more farmland, natural areas, and freshwater sources. Here is a copy of the letter that was sent: http://nvecoboosters.com/ConsAuth.pdf
- We endorsed a letter in July 2020 that opposes the Ontario Government’s proposal to remove the prohibition on aggregate extraction in the habitat of threatened and endangered species in the regional Natural Heritage System of the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
- Here is the letter that was sent to Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Steve Clark, and copied to Ministers Yurek (MECP) and Yakabuski (MNRF), the Commissioner of the Environment, the leaders of the other major political parties, and the federal Minister of the Environment: http://nvecoboosters.com/growthplan.pdf
- In addition to the letter mentioned above, we have also endorsed an Environmental Registry of Ontario (ERO) submission that opposes the Ontario Government’s proposed changes to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe area. It includes the aggregates issue discussed in the letter, but other issues as well, and it is part of the official public consultation. It was written by the Canadian Environmental Law Association, with input from Ontario Nature and Environmental Defence.
- The Growth Plan was established in 2006 to better manage growth and protect the natural environment across the Greater Golden Horseshoe, one of the fastest growing regions in North America and home to at least a third of Ontario’s species at risk.
- After extensive public consultation, the plan was amended in 2017 to include, among other changes, a regional Natural Heritage System offering a higher level of protection for key hydrologic and natural features and areas.
- The government is now proposing to undermine this higher level of protection by removing the Growth Plan policy that prohibits aggregate operations and wayside pits and quarries in the habitat of endangered and threatened species throughout the Natural Heritage System.
- These proposed changes will also lead to more sprawl, more gridlock, more flooding, and less greenspace and farmland.
- Here is the document opposing these proposed changes that was sent to the Environmental Registry of Ontario (ERO): http://nvecoboosters.com/growthplanERO.pdf
- As part of our community activity, we are supporting the group Citizens for Safe Groundwater who are opposing the approval of a gravel pit in our community. To support their position, we submitted the following letter to the Township of Wilmot in March 2020:http://nvecoboosters.com/zonechange.pdf
- Along with 111 other organizations, we requested that the Government of Ontario retain the current mandate of the province’s 36 Conservation Authorities in protecting, restoring, and managing the watersheds where 95 percent of Ontarians reside. The following letter was sent to Premier Doug Ford on behalf of all 112 Ontario organizations: http://nvecoboosters.com/conservauthorities.pdf
- Supported the group Citizens for Safe Ground Water who are opposing the approval of a gravel pit in our community. To support their position, we submitted a letter to the Township of Wilmot in March 2020. Here is a copy of the letter: https://nvecoboosters.com/LetterCSGW.pdf