Wetlands in the Balance
Chances are you have taken more walks in nature during the pandemic than ever before...
The purpose of this project is to highlight the economic, social and environmental costs of what is lost when we develop on environmentally-sensitive lands. The Ford government has loosened protections to facilitate construction in or close to the Greenbelt since being elected in 2018. Policies promoting this activity have accelerated during COVID-19 with Ministerial Zoning Orders being issued to speed up developments in protected wetlands. The rush to build on sensitive wetlands and the Greenbelt is at odds with Ontarians’ anecdotally spending more time outdoors during the pandemic.
This project centres the Lower Duffin’s Creek complex is in Pickering as a case study. It was designated a Provincially Significant Wetland in 2005. It is where a 240-acre $1.5 billion entertainment complex is being proposed by Triple Group of Companies. An MZO was issued on November 2, 2020 to speed up its construction and approve a warehouse to be built on 57 acres of the PSW. This project also highlights Bill 229 in the Ontario Legislative Assembly, which included Schedule 6 proposing modifications to the Conservation Authorities Act. It highlights why it is important to protect these spaces and what citizens can do about it.