Queen’s Park – Following a decision by the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority last month to illegally approve an enormous development paving over provincially significant wetlands, Toronto-Danforth MPP and Ontario NDP environment critic, Peter Tabuns, demanded that the Liberal premier put an immediate stop to the development to prevent further loss of provincially significant wetlands.
“I say, illegally, because this development clearly violates the provincial policy statement, which strictly prohibits such developments,” said Tabuns. “Will the Premier direct this rogue conservation authority to follow the law, stop this development, and prevent the loss of this Provincially Significant Wetland?
The development company seeks to pave over Paradise Beach-Island Grove Provincially Significant Wetland which is over triple the size of Vancouver’s Stanley Park. The local conservation authority’s decision to give the project the go-ahead has sparked outrage in local residents, community members and environmental activists. This isn’t the first time that loopholes in Liberal government legislation have allowed conservation authorities to run roughshod over natural heritage and wetland protection.
“My friend, the member for Welland, has warned about how the Niagara Regional Conservation Authority appears to have been captured by private interests,” said Tabuns. “The NDP tabled amendments to fix this problem when the government updated the Conservation Authorities Act but, Liberal government members voted these amendments down.”
“Why is the Premier allowing conservation authorities and developers to ignore her government’s own laws to protect wetlands and natural heritage,” asked Tabuns.