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Speak out on Bill 66 – An Oakville Call to Action

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We need YOU to share your voice to protect the environment around us!

Please read on and find out why Oakvillegreen is asking for your help to oppose a new bill being brought forward by the provincial government.

Bill 66 is proposed legislation that spells devastating consequences for our Greenbelt, watersheds, farmland and wildlife, by rolling back decades of environmental protection acts, eliminating public input, and designing a process with NO notice and NO chance for appeal.

We want to have this bill stopped.

Visit the Stopbill66.ca for more information on the legislation.

What you can do:

  1. Sign the Petition at EnvironmentalDefense.ca
  2. Email, write or phone your MPP

Tell your MPP and Premier Ford to keep their campaign promise to NOT allow development on the Greenbelt or water protection areas and Stop Bill 66. (MPP contact information is included below)

  1. Register your opposition at the Ontario Environmental Registry (click here). The Ontario government is collecting public feedback on Bill 66. The deadline to collect public opinion is January 20, but Queen’s Park returns on Feb 19th so continue to send your feedback.
  2. Stay tuned by signing up for our newsletter www.Oakvillegreen.org for your chance to join an information rally.

The Issue

The provincial government has proposed Bill 66, called the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, under the premise of “reducing red tape” for businesses seeking planning approvals and increasing employment. The fact is, similar to all other GTA regions, 46% of Halton Region’s land is already dedicated to employment lands. That’s 2,588 hectares of vacant land prime for employment opportunities right here in Halton. There is no need to allow developers and industry to sidestep essential public health and environmental laws and to pave over the Greenbelt. It simply is NOT necessary.

Schedule 10 of the proposed legislation includes amendments which would override critical water, agricultural and environmental protections, without requiring municipalities to provide notice or public hearings. It opens up the Greenbelt for unnecessary factory, retail and residential development: A developer’s dream. It lets corporations ignore drinking water protection rules, and guts the laws that help industry reduce the release of toxic chemicals.

The legislation would undermine decades of non-partisan work to safeguard our environment, and the health of communities across Ontario. This “red tape” that the government keeps referring to are the vital regulations set out in the Planning Act, the Greenbelt Act, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, the Great Lakes Protection Act, the Lake Simcoe Protection Act, the Clean Water Act and more.

Bill 66 would allow development to go forward with NO public notice, NO public consultation and NO ability to appeal to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.

Worst of all, Bill 66 will override any municipal Official Plans.

It’s hard to believe that despite how far we’ve come in understanding the value and importance of the environment around us, our provincial government is putting money in company pockets with disregard to our communal health and environmental prosperity.

Our municipalities are standing strong

Thankfully, many municipalities, including the Town of Oakville, are denouncing Bill 66 and the Schedule 10 provision, saying they already have plenty of surplus land zoned for employment and development, that they won’t sacrifice our natural ecosystems and environmental health, and that they value citizen input.

This is NOT about affordable housing. This is NOT about job creation. This is NOT about “red tape”.

 According to Environmental Defense:

We don’t need to develop the Greenbelt in order to have places to build new factories and homes. Government data shows that there is more than enough land designated for development within existing cities and towns to accommodate the expected population growth until 2041. And building houses on farmland in the Greenbelt doesn’t provide the affordable housing we need.

Despite the short timeline left for comment, Oakvillegreen has banded with over 20 groups and thousands of Ontarians to oppose the ravages of Bill 66.

The Bill goes too far, threatening valuable greenspace, farmland, and groundwater and encourages urban sprawl while making developers rich.

JOIN US. Voice your OPPOSITION to Bill 66 and Schedule 10.

MPP Contact information:

MPP Stephen Crawford (Oakville)

stephen.crawford@pc.ola.org

Constituency: Unit 1, 74 Rebecca St.,Oakville, ON, L6K 1J2

Tel: 905-827-5141

Queen’s Park: Room 271, Legislative Building, Queen’s Park, Toronto, ON, M7A 1A8

Tel:  416-326-7323

MPP Effie J. Triantafilopoulos (Oakville North—Burlington)

effie.triantafilopoulos@pc.ola.org

Constituency: Unit 570, 2525 Old Bronte Rd., Oakville, ON, L6M 4J2

Tel:  905-220-8448

Ministry: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Hepburn Block, 11th Floor, 80 Grosvenor St., Toronto, ON M7A 2C4

Tel: 416-327-4300

Hon. Rod Philips, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks

rod.phillips@pc.ola.org

Ministry: Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks

Ferguson Block, 11th Floor, 77 Wellesley St. W., Toronto, ON, M7A 2T5

Hon. Doug Ford, Premier, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

doug.ford@pc.ola.org

Ministry: Premier’s Office

Room 281, Legislative Building, Queen’s Park, Toronto, ON,  M7A 1A1

Tel:  416-325-1941

 

You can help to protect our groundwater

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We need to protect our vital water resources. Urban sprawl is developing and paving over sensitive stream headwater and groundwater areas.  Protected areas like the Greenbelt, green infrastructure in our communities,  and ‘low impact development’ landscaping installations, such as rain gardens, bioswales, soakaway pits and greenroofs, all help to protect our groundwater systems, and prevent pollutants from entering creeks and lakes.

One of our OCA Youth Stewards leaders, Christine Macpherson, is doing her part by sharing ways we can all take action to protect water quality and groundwater:

~ You Can Help to Protect Our Groundwater ~

Groundwater is an essential resource that provides clean drinking water to over 30% of the Canadian population. Groundwater is found below our forests, farmlands, and cities, yet most people do not understand its true importance in our daily lives. Although invisible to the human eye, we use it for farming, drinking water, and for industrial processes. Not only is this resource important, it is also more vulnerable now than ever before.

Our groundwater is being depleted in many areas across Canada due to over-pumping and pollution. The quality of our groundwater matters just as much as its quantity. The use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers infiltrates through groundwater into our water supply, increasing the need for chemicals used in purification.

There are many ways that we can help to protect our groundwater. It can be as simple as turning off the tap while brushing your teeth. Another way is to plant native grasses and gardens with plants native to the climate of Ontario. These plants will reduce the need for chemical applications and extensive watering, protecting our groundwater in the process. Some species of grass native to Ontario are sweetgrass and bluestem grass. More information on plants native to Ontario can be found  here.

It is also important to properly manage hazardous waste (batteries, pharmaceuticals, motor oil, etc). Most communities, including the Halton region, have facilities to properly dispose of this waste. Hazardous materials can be disposed of at the Household Hazardous Waste Depot at the Halton Waste Management Site, 5400 Regional Road 25 in Milton. In doing this, we keep toxic chemicals out of our water supply and also protect the environment.

In conclusion, we need to protect this essential resource. It may not be as visible as the lakes and rivers that flow through Canada, but it is just as important.

Christine Macpherson

OCA Youth Steward Leader

Thank you Oakville for a successful 2018!

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It has been a great year of environmental stewardship and learning! We would like to acknowledge the hard work of the many supporters we have had and are so proud of!

St. Mildred’s students keeping their Earth Day tradition and planting new trees at Beechnut Woods to increase Oakville urban forest canopy.

We strive to build a stronger community through our tree planting and educational initiatives and this year, it has once again been inspiring to see the community coming together and making a difference!  Many thanks to the 3140 volunteers who came out this year, rain or shine, to plant trees, pick up litter, remove invasive plants, maintain schoolyard trees, and plant and care for pollinator gardens. We were fortunate to work with over 60 schools, community groups, corporate teams, and supporting partners this past year! Thank you Oakville, together we planted over 2000 trees!

 

Earth Day Clean-up at Arbourview Park
Clearview Park community tree planting welcomed a big group of volunteers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We believe Environmental Education is key to developing attitudes and actions that have a positive impact on our urban ecosystems. We were thrilled to be able to connect with more than 3000 Oakville students and residents through our education presentations, hands-on environmental workshops, tree care days, pollinator garden and tree tenders training workshops, tree tours, and urban forest cycle tour. In total, we hosted 239 environmental outreach events!

Students from Falgarwood Public School  studying the local creek as part of our GreenRoots program
Students from Pine Grove Public School participating in our Spring 2018 Mulchfest

 

Our hands-on tree inventory workshop at Shaarei Beth-El Synagogue invited Oakville residents to learn more about Tree ID, tree measurements and health assessment
6th Annual Tour De Trees with Cycle Oakville and MP Pam Damoff
Volunteers from UPS and Mindshape joining efforts to plant trees at Indian Ridge Trail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Urban nature restoration sites got some extra TLC this year at Glen Oak Trail, Beechnut Woods, Clearview Woods, Arbourview Woods, Lion’s Valley Park, Oak Park, Shell Park, Millstone Park, Castlefield Park, North Munn’s Creek, Pelee Woods, Woodgate Woods, Indian Ridge Trail, and Falling Green Pond A big shout-out to our corporate partners and supporters who joined us during our Corporate Greening Day and public events: Ian Martin Group, PwC, Booking.com, Telus Mobility, UPS, and Mindshape.

PwC volunteers are battling with buckthorn at Pelee Woods during their Corporate Responsibility Week

 

 

 

Thanks to dedicated corporate teams, our OCA Youth Stewards, and students participating in our GreenRoots program, we removed over 12 truckloads of harmful invasive plants from our woodlands. Better still, our monitoring of trees that we’ve planted in previous years with volunteers, showed that our trees are doing well – with a survival rate above 85% at all sites!

 

Volunteers from Ian Martin Group after a morning of hard work planting trees and removing invasive species at Glen Oak Trail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of our amazing youth volunteers at Oak Park tree planting community event

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our new pollinator garden is another exciting endeavor that started in 2018! The Butterfly Wing garden at Memorial Park, adjacent to the Wellspring Birmingham Gilgan House is beginning to take flight, thanks to the support from the Town of Oakville Horticultural department, a grant from Landscape Ontario’s Toronto Chapter, and amazing volunteers. We will continue with this project in 2019 to transition the space into a beautiful pollinator oasis.

Volunteers participating in our Butterfly Wing pollinator garden planting at Memorial Park
Only a few months after being planted, the pollinator garden looks beautiful and provides food and habitat for bees, butterflies and birds. Our dedicated volunteers ensured the garden was looked after all summer long

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oakville Councillor Dave Gittings and his wife Susan planted a backyard tree through our Backyard Tree Planting Program.

Our Backyard Tree Planting Program (in partnership with LEAF – Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests) planted 101 native trees and 89 shrubs in Oakville backyards! Through this program Oakville property owners have the chance to meet with an arborist to discuss their tree planting options and choose native trees or shrubs for their backyard, multi-unit property or business property. Trees are delivered and planted by knowledgeable staff at a subsidized price, thanks to funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Town of Oakville.

 

 

 

 

Oakvillegreen’s Ready for Rain program also kicked off in 2018!

Thanks to support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, we will be building raingarden demonstration sites in Oakville and sharing more ways you can absorb rainwater where it falls, reduce flooding, and keep pollution out of our creeks and Lake Ontario.

 

On behalf of the staff and board of Oakvillegreen, THANK YOU for your enthusiasm, hard work and commitment! Thank you for caring for the environment and for empowering others as well! We couldn’t have done all of the above without you. See you in 2019!

Wonderful message from Telus Mobility and great help at Arbourview Park during our community tree planting