Ontario’s Conservation Authorities are at risk.
The provincial government recently tabled omnibus budget measures Bill 229, Schedule 6 of which proposes fundamental changes to the Conservation Authorities Act and to conservation authorities role in land use planning.
As currently proposed, the changes to the legislative framework will impede Ontario’s crucially important goal of building climate resilience for our communities. To the contrary, the package of amendments as proposed are likely to set back watershed planning and implementation of an ecosystem based approach by decades.
CELA recommends that Schedule 6 be withdrawn in its entirety from Bill 229.
CELA is co-hosting a webinar with Environmental Defence and Ontario Nature on Tuesday, November 17th at 7pm ET. We encourage you to register and learn more about these alarming proposed changes, and the implications they could have for our communities.
We have created an action alert page on our website that contains our preliminary analysis of Bill 229, and other resources about the value of Conservation Authorities. Watch this page in the coming days for more information about how to protect our Conservation Authorities.
Open Letter Regarding Fall Harvest of Double-crested Cormorants
“Fifty-one experts are calling on the Ontario minister of natural resources and forestry to provide a scientific explanation for a province-wide hunt on double-crested cormorants that is slated to begin within two weeks.
In an open letter to John Yakabuski, dated on Tuesday, the experts raise concerns about the hunt, saying it is not based on science, the province has failed to indicate what population of cormorants it considers desirable and it will not require hunters to report the numbers of birds they have killed.” CBC News
Contact Minister Yakabuski
Contact MPP Jill Dunlop
Contact MPP Doug Downey
- Be mindful of wildlife who have become accustomed to the trails and boardwalks being unused by humans. Please give them space and do not attempt to approach or feed them, especially on the boardwalk.
- Please respect social distancing guidelines while on the trails, especially at intersections and narrow sections.
- The gates will open daily at 9:00am and close at 4:00pm
Ontario Nature Defends Conservation Authorities
Ontario Nature, on behalf of itself & its affiliates has sent this letter to the Ontario Government defending the role of local conservation authorities in opposition to proposals made by the Ford administration. Read the letter.
For more information, copy and paste the link below into your browser:
214 King Street West, Suite 612
Toronto, Ontario M5H 3S6
Charitable registration# 10737 89
The COVID-19-related restrictions on gatherings and movement have been challenging for my family, but they have also had a beneficial effect on our soundscape. With fewer airline flights and vehicles on the road, and most workers conducting business from home, the sounds of industry have made way for the sounds of nature.
I noticed the change in outdoor noise during a pre-dawn, physically distanced jog through my Toronto neighbourhood. Though always quieter at this time than later in the day, my neighbourhood is rarely still, and I can often hear the sounds of daily life while I jog. The subterranean rumble of subway trains gearing up for the morning rush; the drone of drivers embarking on their daily commutes; and the clamour emanating from nearby construction sites.
Much of that commotion has been replaced by the melodic warbling of robins, cardinals and finches. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and my family and I had planned to celebrate by camping at Sandbanks Provincial Park to witness the spring bird migration.
The pandemic and ensuing lockdown have scuttled our camping plans, but thankfully not our birding plans. I recently found the Peterson Field Guides: Birding by Ear CDs I received several birthdays ago, and am looking forward to learning bird songs in the company of my young daughter in the coming weeks. As the spring migration progresses and our identification skills expand, my daughter and I will be able to bird from the safety of our backyard, unimpeded by the usual aural litter of our city environment.
There is increasing evidence that human-made noise harms wildlife. The din created by highway and recreational vehicles disrupts communication between individual animals and can hinder the ability of many species to find prey or establish a territory. The deleterious effects of noise on humans – sleep disturbance, hearing loss, stress, and increased risk of heart attacks and strokes – is well documented. It is reasonable to assume that birds, amphibians, mammals and fish suffer these physiological effects as well.
People across the world have noticed the near-immediate reduction in human noise that the widespread lockdowns have caused and the subsequent increase in the audible prominence of other species. From Boston to Rome to Wuhan, city dwellers are marvelling at the array of songbirds they never knew shared their environment. As an inhabitant of Wuhan wrote on Facebook during that city’s quarantine, “I used to think there weren’t really birds in Wuhan… I now know they were just muted and crowded out by the traffic and people”.
Wildlife is having a well deserved moment right now. My daughter and I invite you to share that moment by joining our birding efforts. Do a backyard big year if you have the outdoor space or simply listen for migratory birds from the open window of your apartment. Even during this difficult time, there is much to celebrate on Earth Day.
From Ontario Nature, April 16 2020
“When we talk about nature-based solutions in the modern context, we’re really talking about new ways of doing old things. Indigenous knowledge systems tell us that we must put nature first. If we look after nature, the economy will take care of itself. … We must repair our relationship with the land first and focus on our shared responsibilities to ensure our collective well-being.” – Curtis Scurr, Assembly of First Nations
In October 2019, over 100 leaders and knowledge holders from Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and organizations gathered in Kingston Ontario to share insights and strategies about addressing the interrelated crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. Hosted by Ontario Nature, Plenty Canada, the Indigenous Environmental Institute at Trent University, Walpole Island Land Trust and Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network, the three-day event provided a forum for cross-cultural dialogue and learning.
“It is important for the dialogue to be not only cross-cultural but also cross-generational. … Build relationships with Indigenous peoples. Take that time and cultivate and maintain those relationships.” – Shaelyn Wabegijig, Timiskaming First Nation
The purpose of the gathering was to support collaboration and enhance collective understanding about the critical role protected areas play in conserving biodiversity and increasing community and ecosystem resilience in an era of climate change.
“It’s all about partnerships. We all have things to offer. It’s our responsibility—we can’t be afraid to go out and tell people what is wrong and stand up.” – Chris Craig, South Nation Conservation
On behalf of the partner organizations, we are pleased to announce that the summary report and video of the Kingston gathering are now available.