I understand that the Ontario government has been working behind the scenes to issue Minister’s Zoning Orders (MZO) to override protections for provincially significant wetlands. This is unacceptable and must stop.
Wetlands benefit communities by helping to mitigate floods, purify drinking water, control erosion, sequester carbon, provide wildlife habitat, and much more. A 2009 study commissioned by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry conservatively valued wetland benefits at over $161,000 per hectare per year in urban settings. With over 72 per cent of wetlands already destroyed in southern Ontario, we simply cannot afford to lose any more.
I have learned that your Ministry worked with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and the Pickering Council to circumvent policy protections for two large wetlands within the provincially significant Lower Duffins Creek Wetland Complex by issuing an MZO and seeking to downgrade the status of the wetland complex.
Minister Clark, I urge you to revoke this MZO and to reaffirm your government’s commitment to respecting and upholding protections for the remaining PSWs in Ontario. In planning matters, your focus must be on enhancing community resilience to climate change impacts and enabling public participation in land use decisions, not lining the pockets of a handful of developers by issuing MZOs and de-listing PSWs.
I look forward to seeing news of your revocation.
Food for Thought: “The surest way to instill fear and panic in the population is to hide the truth from them.” -Lawrence Gostin