Jan 26, 2023 – The Narwahl
Prompted by questions from The Narwhal Thursday, Guilbeault said he couldn’t give specifics yet because it isn’t clear which projects developers might propose, or where they might be. But he said Ontario’s push to develop Greenbelt land “flies in the face of everything we’re trying to do in terms of being better prepared for the impacts of climate change,” and Ottawa “will be looking at the potential use of federal tools to stop some of these projects.”
Jan 18, 2023
Ontario’s integrity commissioner and auditor general both announced Wednesday that they would conduct separate investigations into the government’s decision to open protected Greenbelt lands up to housing development. Read Toronto Star story. (If this link requires a subscription, try your Muskoka Region / TorStar login.)
From The Narwhal: More fallout over Ontario’s environmental cuts, as watchdogs launch Greenbelt investigations. Read story.
Jan 17, 2023
Mayor Dilkens and Windsor City Council chose to listen to a fossil fuel power developer rather than the citizens of Windsor, who reminded them that the city has declared a climate emergency and has endorsed the call for the province to phase-out gas fired power. – more here
What does the More Homes Built Faster Act mean for waterfront communities? Why the focus on wetlands? Watersheds Canada explains.
Jan 9, 2023
Ontario’s Bill 23, aka the More Homes Built Faster Act, has garnered fierce opposition since it was announced in October. The Bill was made into law just 34 days after it was introduced, leaving many to wonder what this means for their communities.
This explainer from Watersheds Canada focuses on Site Plan Control, Third Party Appeals, Wetlands and Conservation Authorities. Read story.
Jan 9, 2023
Ecojustice, on behalf of Environmental Defence, has served the Ontario government with a notice of application for a judicial review of its unilaterally imposed changes to Hamilton’s official plan.
Read the Ecojustice media release – here
Listen to the CBC, Metro Morning interview with Phil Pothen – here
November 28, 2022 – Urban Toronto
Today, Bill 23 received Royal Assent, the final approval in bringing legislation into force.
As the news cycle of the last month has shown, the bill has been received with open arms by some, but not all. The extent of the criticism has reached a new high though after a contingent of industry leading design firms came together to pen an open letter to the Government with a clear message: Bill 23 needs to go back to the drawing board.
…The group wastes little time making their main argument, asserting that the activation of Bill 23 will only exacerbate the housing issues we are already facing in this Province while simultaneously harming the already fragile standards for climate change, mitigation, and heritage conservation. – more
Oct. 25, 2022 – By Fatima Syed and Emma McIntosh – The Narwhal
In a massive overhaul of urban development planning, the Ontario government looks to take power away from the agencies that help prevent flooding — again
“It will make it easier to build the right type of housing in the right places,” Ford told industry stakeholders, with a grin.
But Ford didn’t say his plan depends in part on a massive gutting of conservation authorities, which oversee and protect vital and deteriorating watersheds.
More outrage in the media
Get more information at the links below.
Unpacking Bill 23 – More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022 | AMO – Association of Ontario Municipalities
Bait and Switch: Understanding Bill 23, The ‘More Sprawl, Fewer Wetlands’ Act – YouTube – Environmental Defence
Bill 23 Backgrounder – November 2022 – Page 1 (publitas.com) – Ontario Nature
Reviewing Bill 23 – More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022 – Canadian Environmental Law Association
Speaking_Notes_Bill-23_Committee-Presentation_Nov_9_2022-1.pdf (cela.ca) – Canadian Environmental Law Association
May 30, 2022 – Primary Author: Mitchell Beer – the Energy Mix
The Ontario Energy Board sent minor shock waves through the province’s energy regulatory and municipal energy communities earlier this month with its refusal to approve the final phases of a $123.7-million pipeline replacement project in Ottawa proposed by Enbridge Gas.
Several observers said this was the first time the OEB had refused a “leave to construct” application from a gas utility, laying bare an operating model in which the companies’ revenue is based primarily on the kilometres of pipe they can install, rather than the volume of gas their customers actually need.
Nov. 9, 2021 (Updated Mar 24, 2022) – The Narwhal – Emma McIntosh and Fatima Syed
Ahead of the provincial election next June, The Narwhal is keeping a running list of all the ways Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives have altered Ontario’s environmental landscape.
Four days into his job as premier, Doug Ford announced the end of Ontario’s $3 billion cap-and-trade climate program as his government’s first policy decision. Since then, the Progressive Conservatives have made dramatic changes to the province’s environmental policy. The changes affect everything from endangered species to renewable energy to development, and critics say most are harmful to wildlife and natural spaces, as well as counterintuitive given the scale of the climate crisis.
January 13, 2022 – The Energy Mix – David Robertson/Seniors for Climate Action Now!
As the International Energy Agency points out in its report this week, how provinces respond to the climate emergency has a huge bearing on whether Canada as a whole will achieve its 2030 climate targets. And by any accounting, Ontario is a climate laggard, more a climate hooligan. The reason is Premier Doug Ford’s Conservative government.
January 3, 2022 – The Energy Mix
… Suggesting a truly seismic shift in attitudes about environmental stewardship, 74% of those polled said that the Ford government should be treating the climate crisis as an “emergency,” rather than merely as a “priority” or “serious” issue. That deliberate choice of words is also “the language of activism,” Forman and Kaleem note.
December 6, 2021 – The Energy Mix
As too many national governments, including Canada’s, continue to talk big but walk small on climate action, cities are stepping up, writes Miller, now director of international diplomacy for C40 Cities, in a recent op ed for the Toronto Star. And that matters, he adds, since cities create about 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
December 2, 2021 – By Cloe Logan – National Observer
… Jane Fogal says changing weather has taken a toll on her area’s mixed wood forest — knocked down by wind, destroyed by pine beetles, and replaced with saplings. When she bikes around town, the trees are a constant reminder of how quickly climate change is transforming her own world and places farther afield. It convinced her that as a politician, she needed to act — and fast.
Hamilton Votes to End Sprawl: Stop Sprawl Hamilton saves thousands of acres & sets a precedent for the GTHA
November 26, 2021 – Phil Pothen – Environment Defence
In a game-changing victory for the people of Hamilton and the future of the region’s forests and farmland, Hamilton’s City Council has voted by a 13-3 margin to END URBAN SPRAWL.
The city council, supported by an overwhelming 90 per cent of citizens, committed to stopping sprawl – not by stopping or resisting population growth – but by accommodating the next 30 years of new homes and workplaces within Hamilton’s existing boundaries.
Nov 16, 2021 – Trevor Pritchard – CBC News
When Chris Decouto powers up the new electric Zambonis at the Invista Centre in Kingston, Ont., he’s left with a good feeling.
“It’s just knowing that there isn’t that propane gas combustion engine operating in the facility,” said Decouto, the city’s arena operator. “You can’t really beat zero emissions in terms of indoor air quality.”
Aug 3, 2021 – Ontario Clean Air Alliance submission to the IESO
Prepared by Kent Elson
- EV batteries with bi-directional chargers are cheaper than gas plants for peak power
- EVs are an enormous opportunity to lower electricity rates & carbon emissions
- By 2030, EVs will have more than twice the capacity of Ontario’s gas plants
- When all cars are electric, their gross discharge capacity (GW) will be more than 6
times Ontario’s total peak demand
- Technical barriers to bi-directional charging have largely disappeared (with more bidirectional-capable cars and chargers and million+ mile batteries)
- This is urgent – it is cheaper to incentivize bi-directional charging now before
millions of “dumb” and “one-directional” chargers are purchased
City Council approves bold strategy to reduce emissions from existing buildings to net zero by 2050, updates Toronto Green Standard
July 14, 2021 – City of Toronto Media Room News Releases & Other Resources
Today, City Council approved multiple strategies and plans that will be critical to achieving the City of Toronto’s TransformTO goal to reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) to net zero by 2050 or sooner. This includes a Net Zero Existing Buildings Strategy to decarbonize all existing residential, commercial and institutional buildings within the next 30 years; a Net Zero Carbon Plan to reduce emissions in City-owned buildings; and an update to the Toronto Green Standard to achieve net zero emissions in new development by 2030.
April 22, 2021 – Electric Autonomy
The City of Sudbury is incorporating fully electric vehicles into its community paramedic fleet, building on its leadership in municipal vehicle electrification. by Emma Jarratt
Powerful Ontario developers stand to cash in if Highway 413 is built. An inside look at their connections to the Ford government
The premier’s office says the 413 is needed to serve a growing population and relieve pressure on highways that will soon be over capacity. The province has approved controversial MZOs to help fast-track development on lands owned by some major developers
Steve Buist,Emma McIntosh and Noor Javed – Toronto Star Saturday, April 3, 2021
Eight of Ontario’s most powerful land developers own thousands of acres of prime real estate near the proposed route of the controversial Highway 413, a Torstar/National Observer investigation has found.
It took 8½ years of advocating for the return of the Northlander.
March 24, 2021
Today the Northeastern Ontario Rail Network (NEORN) is excited to announce the Ontario government has committed to funding the next step to moving forward on the project with $5M and hopefully then to the final stage: putting ‘bums in seats’ on the train between Toronto and Timmins/Cochrane.
Lucille Frith and Howie Wilcox, NEORN Co-Chairs
A group of students from across Ontario read a letter to their teachers, asking them to push the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan to stop investing their retirement savings in oil, gas, coal, and pipeline companies.
Grade 11 student Aliya Hirji urges teachers to “step up and take action now” and “stop investing your money in climate failure.”
By The Canadian Press Thu., Jan. 7, 2021
The Greenbelt Council is a government-appointed expert panel that advises the province on issues related to the Greenbelt, a stretch of protected land surrounding the Greater Toronto Area that Ford has promised not to develop.
By Emma McIntosh | News, Politics | December 6th 2020 National Observer
Opponents say Minister’s Zoning Orders ignore environmental concerns while kowtowing to developers. Local resident Bob Codd says the province and municipalities are employing Minister’s Zoning Orders (MZOs) with fervent abandon to the detriment of both the environment and due process
Nov 20, 2020 1:53 PM By: Andrew Philips – orilliamatters.com
In a groundbreaking judgement, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has ruled the climate crisis doesthreaten fundamental rights protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and that Canadian citizens can therefore challenge their governments’ climate failures on constitutional grounds,
The Energy Mix – NOVEMBER 16, 2020
‘The developers are all in control’: Doug Ford’s government moves to limit the power of conservation authorities, sparking fears for the environment
New legislation by Doug Ford’s provincial government will override the powers of Ontario’s conservation authorities, limiting their ability to assess the environmental impact of developments across the province, according to environmental groups.
Noor Javed – Toronto Star – Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Hamilton City Council unanimously passed a resolution calling on the Government of Ontario to phase-out the province’s gas-fired power plants by 2030.
According to the City of Hamilton resolution, a fossil-free provincial electricity system is critically important for the City to achieve its climate goals in part by replacing fossil fuels with electric vehicles, electric buses and electric heat pumps. – Clean Air Alliance – November 11, 2020
Yesterday the City of Kitchener and the Town of Halton Hills became the first municipalities to request the Government of Ontario to start phasing-out Ontario’s gas-fired power plants. You can download a draft resolution to send to your council here. You can sign as an individual here.
October 27, 2020 Building a clean, green grid, Bulletins
The City of Ottawa has released a long-awaited energy transition plan that has it eliminating all greenhouse gas emissions, phasing out all fossil fuel use, shifting all heating and transportation to electricity or other zero-emission options, and adding 4.4 gigawatts of new solar and wind capacity by 2050.
OCTOBER 23, 2020 PRIMARY AUTHOR COMPILED BY MITCHELL BEER
Posted on Wednesday September 16,
In late August the Council of Tay Valley Township approved Taking Steps to Make a Difference – A Climate Action Plan 2020. The Plan sets two targets – a 55% reduction in municipal greenhouse gas emissions by 2028 and a 45% reduction in community emissions. The municipal target reflects the call by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 7.6 per cent a year, each year, in order to hold the average global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Proposals abound to plan for a greener, post-pandemic future. Most focus on cities, where 81 per cent of Canadians live. But, a truly national plan must include how to connect cities with rural areas without relying on internal combustion (ICE) vehicles.
By Gordon Laxer, Gravenhurst, September 13, 2020 – The Star
The electrification strategy involves replacing 35 currently operational diesel buses with EVs, as well as commissioning 30 new electric buses and installing on-route charging stations.
16 January 2020 – ELECTRIC AUTONOMY