Ontario Council writes a letter of thanks to the Premier thanking her for her support to the Experimental Lakes project.
Ontario Council sends letter of support concerning the Sierra Club's letter also of support to Ms Adrian Coombs, Senior Project Manager, The Regional Municipality of York, Environmental Services for their work concerning the state-of-the-art York Region Sewage Treatment Plant.
As members since 2004 of the Great Lakes Advisory Panel, CFUW Ontario Council has been very concerned with the implementation of our obligations under the Great Lakes Annex Agreement, and this respects both that and the Lake Simcoe Protection Act.
In conjunction with 18 other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community groups concerned about Ontario’s water, CFUW Ontario Council signs on to a letter to the Hon. John Gerretsen, Minister of the Environment, about the current water source protection process in Ontario.
From the letter:
“… we are writing to you to advise that several important implementation challenges remain unresolved at the present time. These challenges include:
- Othe Great Lakes as a source of drinking water have not been adequately included in the source protection planning process to date;
- private drinking water systems are not being sufficiently covered by the Clean Water Act, 2006 (CWA);
- regulations and a legal framework to address potential threats to drinking water from federally managed lands, transportation corridors and facilities need to be developed; and,
- provisions are needed to ensure the rapid and effective transitioning of newly-appointed members on to Source Protection Committees (SPCs).”
CFUW Ontario Council has presented its comment to the Ministry of the Environment, Land and Water Policy Branch concerning the Proposal Paper, "Stewardship - Leadership - Accountability: Safeguarding and Sustaining Ontario's Water Resources for Future Generations"
You will note in our submission that we strongly support the conservation and efficiency proposals and those regarding water charges in this Proposal Paper.
However we have serious disagreements over a number of the proposals pertaining to Intra-Basin Transfers, which we have outlined.
Our major disagreement is with the redefinition of watershed in the Proposal Paper, and the related proposal to allow the return of water to the downstream connecting channel to be considered as meeting the exception criterion for Return Flow to the source watershed. In all cases, flows should return to the basin from which they were taken, both downstream and as close as possible to the original point.
A summary of our recommendations:
Due to its potential impact on other areas of the province, CFUW Ontario Council sends comments to the Ontario Growth Secretariat, Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure on the proposal, Simcoe Area: A Strategic Area of Growth (2009)
We are concerned that there seems to be a disconnect - even a contradiction - between provincial vision and legislation, and several areas of the growth plan set out for Simcoe County. Legislation like the Clean Water Act, which is watershed based and gives precedence to whichever law provides the most protection for the environment, and the Lake Simcoe Protection Act, as well as the work of the Drinking Water Source Protection Committees seem not to be taken into consideration when developing this plan. Considering that this Vision has the potential of affecting other areas in the province, we feel that this is of concern.
- That the Vision of Growth incorporate specific water conservation strategies for all its new growth areas, and that no intra-basin transfers of water are considered.
- That the new "employment areas" be located in closer proximity to an existing urban centre where there are vacant lands already designated for either residential and/or employment development, and municipal services are available; and
- That these vacant urban lands be utilized before approvals are granted on the development of any greenfields, especially on greenfields far removed from municipal services.
- That there be a moratorium on any major new development in the Lake Simcoe watershed - especially around Lake Simcoe - until the results of the Assimilative Capacity Study are known and the assessment shows that further development can proceed without further damaging the ecology of the Lake and its watershed
- That the Vision for Growth document make explicit its intention that all new water services in areas of growth would be under public control, owned and operated by and for the public.
As a member of the Ontario Government's Great Lakes Annex Advisory Panel, CFUW Ontario Council has been invited to participate in stakeholder consultations on water conservation on the policy themes outlined in the Provincial Government Proposal Paper entitled "Stewardship - Leadership - Accountability: Safeguarding and Sustaining Ontario's Water Resources for Future Generations". This Ministry of the Environment Proposal Paper can be found on the EBR Register #010-6350 (http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca ).
It outlines options for enhancing three key elements of water management in Ontario: Water Conservation strategies; Regulations to restrict Intra-Basin Transfers; and Water Charges to Commercial and Industrial Users.
We have also joined with a coalition of other organizations to support the document H2Ontario: A Blueprint for a Comprehensive Water Conservation and Efficiency Strategy which can be found at http://www.poliswaterproject.org/publication/262. As well as participating in this media release on Conservation, and in the Government Consultation, Ontario Council will also be submitting a written Brief with our comments on all three elements contained in the Proposal Paper.
CFUW Ontario Council's support for participating as part of this coalition is based on our 2001 CFUW Policy entitled Canadian Water which states:
2001 Canadian Water
RESOLVED, That the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) urge the federal, provincial and territorial governments of Canada to protect our water resources and specifically to declare that water, being a non-renewable natural resource of paramount importance, belongs to the Canadian public and its use must be regulated in the long-term public interest;
RESOLVED, That CFUW urge the federal, provincial and territorial governments to adopt and implement a sustainable and prudent water management policy to respond to long-term regional needs with due regard to the ecosystem and hydrogeological reality; and
RESOLVED, That CFUW urge the federal, provincial and territorial governments to promote conservation and more efficient use of surface water and groundwater at individual, local, provincial, territorial, national and international levels.
Source Protection Committees are currently being set up across Ontario as part of the Clean Water Act to oversee research, plan programs and establish policies that will ensure the safety and sustainability of our drinking water resources. Because of her work through Ontario Council on Water Issues, Carolyn Day, CFUW Southampton, has been appointed to the Saugeen, Grey Sauble, Northern Bruce Peninsula Source Protection Committee. Congratulations Carolyn!
CFUW Ontario Council presents comments on a Proposal by the Ministry of the Environment on Water Conservation Charges [EBR Registry Number 010-0162] which are part of the regulations of the Ministry’s legislation, Safeguarding and Sustaining Ontario’s Water Act, 2007.
CFUW Ontario presents comments to the Ministry of the Environment on the first phase of regulations under the Clean Water Act, 2006. [EBR Registry Number 010-0122]
CFUW Ontario Council presents comments on the renewal of the Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem (COA) to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. For the Brief
CFUW Ontario Council presents comments on the proposed amendments to the Ontario Water Resources Act to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. For the Brief
CFUW Ontario Council presents comments on the Regulations concerning the Clean Water Act with regard to the establishment of the Source Protection Committees. The Brief
Bill 43, the Clean Water Act, has received Royal Assent. For complete information concerning the legislative debates, see http://www.ontla.on.ca/library/bills/382/43382.htm .
Carolyn Day, CFUW/Ontario Council Water Issues made an oral presentation on behalf of Ontario Council to the Standing Committee on Social Policy concerning Bill 43, the Clean Water Act, 2006 at their hearing in Walkerton, Ontario. The Presentation
For the report in Hansard:
Joint ENGO Statement on Improving Ontario’s Clean Water Act is sent to the Hon. Laurel C. Broten by the Canadian Environmental Legal Association (CELA), CFUW/Ontario Council and 14 other groups concerning the recommended amendments to Bill 43, the Clean Water Act The Statement
A letter is sent to the Hon. Laurel C. Broten by the Canadian Environmental Legal Association (CELA), CFUW/Ontario Council and 14 other groups concerning the recommended amendments to Bill 43, the Clean Water Act
As part of our ongoing concern related to the safety of our water supply, Ontario Council presented comments on the proposed Bill 43, the Clean Water Act
Comments from the 2006 Pre-Budget Brief:
A key CFUW concern over the years has been water. Given that water is an essential ingredient for individual health and that it is not a renewable resource, only a recyclable one, CFUW Ontario Council has been alarmed at the serious consequences of taking this valuable resource for granted.
We commend the Government for signing the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Sustainable Water Resources Agreement and for its proposed Clean Water Act concerning source protection of the watershed.
While applauding the Clean Water Act, CFUW/Ontario Council has some concerns:
- It is important to recognize that small municipalities and/or Band Councils on their own do not have the expertise, the resources or often even the will to invest in the kind of measures needed to ensure Source Protection. It would be very difficult to ensure consistency. And
- it is important to recognize that contaminants polluting a source of ground water or surface water anywhere in the province will affect the quality of Ontario’s water resources.
CFUW Ontario Council is also concerned that:
- the funding provided by the Government of Ontario be sustainable over the long term and not subject to the yearly negotiations of conflicting Budget priorities.
- It must be sufficient to ensure both compliance with and enforcement of this Act.
- In particular, owners of private wells, owners of small and medium farms, small municipalities, despite their best wishes to comply, may not have the financial resources to do so.
- They may also lack adequate access to the required testing facilities or availability and/or adequate funding for enforcement officers without additional support from the province.
A letter concerning Watershed Based Drinking Water Source Protection Legislation is sent to the Hon. Laurel C. Broten by CELA, CFUW/Ontario Council and 16 other groups.
CFUW/Ontario Council sends comments on The Proposed Drinking Water Source Protection Act, Ontario Ministry of the Environment.
CFUW/Ontario Council joins with 22 other community organizations to sign Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA)'s, Ontario Source Water Protection Statement of Expectations.
CFUW/Ontario Council sends comments on the Proposed Amendments to the Water Taking and Transfer Regulations, O.Reg 285/99. Ontario Ministry of the Environment.
Canadian Environmental Law Association’s collection on water source protection http://www.cela.ca/coreprograms/detail.shtml?x=1437