LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Overriding the ability of Conservation Authorities to regulate development

Seaway News Staff

Dear Mr. McDonell,

I am writing to express my extreme disappointment with the recently passed Schedule 6 within Bill 229. This represents an ill-conceived attack on the ability of Conservation Authorities to manage wetlands, river valleys, and flood protection in the province.

The government’s philosophy of “Open for Business”, can be very short lived if it chooses to ignore the Conservation Authorities eighty-year history of providing sound land use planning advice. Ontario’s reputation will be also be damaged as word gets out that we are willing to sacrifice our ecologically valuable lands for a short-term gain.

As we have seen in the past, when flooding and degradation of water quality comes after the removal of wetlands, forests and natural greenbelt areas, homeowners and tourist businesses come knocking on the government’s door for compensation and citizens get handed the bill.
I’m sure you would like to be remembered for standing up for a future that includes clean water, fresh air and a healthy environment for our children and grandchildren rather than for one more warehouse being built on a wetland.

I’m encouraged that the current review of the legislation provides an opportunity  to restore the Conservation Authorities ability to protect Ontario’s forests, wetlands, farmlands and river valleys for the long-term health of Ontario’s land and its citizens.

I encourage you to support that opportunity.

John Towndrow, Member OPPI (Ret)

Cornwall, Ontario

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