The Ontario Health Coalition announced results of a regional and province-wide survey on the privatization of healthcare in Ontario after the PCs passed a new delivery model that will allow private clinics to perform certain procedures covered by the province’s publicly funded system.
Critics warn this will eventually lead to a two-tier system that will benefit the rich and marginalize low-income earners.
Under the Conservation Authorities Act, Conservation Authorities are mandated to conserve, restore and responsibly manage Ontario’s water resources. However, the TRCA says most of its flood management infrastructure is outdated and not up to current standards. The cost to update infrastructure is far greater than the budget for these priority projects.
A Federal Court judge has highlighted the utter failure of the Impact Assessment Agency and Environment Minister Stephen Guilbeault to study community concerns around the Bradford Bypass, noting it’s clear the Agency did not even consider some of the significant information community members provided.
The startling decision is at odds with repeated statements from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his environment minister that protecting the environment and battling climate change are a top priority.
Over a year ago, St. Catharines council asked staff to report back on its goal of planting 100,000 trees in a decade. The study has yet to materialize. Environmentalists support tree planting but many are questioning governments that trumpet such efforts while ignoring much more critical solutions, or, as Doug Ford continues to do, enact policies that set us even further behind in the fight to slow climate change.
A recent court decision has dismissed the case of seven youth claiming the Ontario government is violating their Charter rights with ineffectual emission reduction targets.
While the judge found the PC government’s abysmal climate plans put Ontarians at risk, she ruled the harmful actions fall short of a Charter violation.
The PC government has brought forward another proposed piece of development legislation aimed at addressing the ongoing housing crisis: Bill 97, the Helping Homebuyers, Protecting Tenants Act. It seeks to amend various pieces of legislation making it easier for the Province to achieve its goal of 1.5 million homes by 2031. Land use experts say the legislation would cut more environmental safeguards, put farmland and food security at risk and pave the way for less dense, car-dependent growth.
As avian flu spikes in the bird population, killing millions around the world, experts advise avoiding contact altogether if possible as the virus can be transmitted to humans, pets, and other wildlife through infected bodily fluids.
To report sick or deceased wild animals, residents within the Greater Golden Horseshoe are asked to call both 311 and the Ontario Regional Centre of the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative.
Police, politicians and the public call for change in a system that allows Canada to remain a ‘source country’ for the international stolen car market.
Vehicles across Ontario and other provinces end up in countries where the illicit trade in stolen cars happens in the open, right under the nose of governments and local authorities.
An audit published by Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk in November found the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is severely lacking in its management of invasive species.
Her audit details the failure to collaborate with other governments, inadequate funding for municipalities and the lack of a coherent strategy as invasive species thrive due to global movement and climate change.
In 2021, despite backlash from the public, Caledon council passed a motion to request an MZO for a warehouse project located at Dixie Road and Mayfield Road.
The development approved in March 2022 will divert the watercourse that runs through the site—which includes portions of the Greenbelt. Despite its role in protecting a large portion of southern Ontario’s natural habitats, and a new report that looks at natural channel restoration in Brampton, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority is repeating the claim that tampering with the stream will be ecologically beneficial.
Bill 56, Fewer Floods, Safer Ontario Act, a private members Bill brought forward by Liberal MPP Mary-Margaret McMahon, was voted down by all PC MPPs last week.
It was not a surprise given the Ford government’s move to gut conservation authorities, which provide critical flood management. McMahon says she will look to municipal leaders to help protect residents from flood risks.
The 2023 Ontario budget puts forth $70.5 billion for public transportation projects over the next decade. But NDP Critic Joel Harden says while that seems like a sizable investment, the money is not going where it is needed most. The PCs are investing almost $28 billion in highway projects, when experts say we need to move away from individual forms of transportation.
On April 1, the Ontario government has a surprise planning announcement for the province's residents.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is putting the Ontario government on notice, questioning the effectiveness of its oversight and safety measures to keep provincial railways safe. The findings came out of an investigation into a 2019 accident in Kitchener when a GO Train struck two pedestrians at a public crossing. The report is a grim reminder that train-related accidents result in injury and deaths across Ontario, including in Mississauga where a four-year-old girl was struck and killed by a GO Train last July.
Known as a clean energy leader and the first jurisdiction in North America to eliminate coal fired electricity generation, Ontario is taking three steps backward in the race to a net zero grid.
The Province’s love of natural gas is hindering its ability to achieve what environmental organizations and intergovernmental bodies are pushing: a sustainable clean energy transition.
A coalition of plastic producers, backed by American oil companies and the governments of Alberta and Saskatchewan, went to court three weeks ago after filing a lawsuit against Canada’s federal government over the designation of plastic as a toxic substance under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. Three environmental organizations interjected on behalf of the Canadian government arguing in favour of the designation and subsequent single-use plastic bans. The case was heard days after members of the United Nations reached a historic treaty to protect the world’s oceans.
To birds, many buildings create optical problems for navigation, constantly causing collisions. With increased urban growth around the world, the easily avoidable loss of species will continue unless solutions are adopted. A group of dedicated advocates is attempting to have bird-friendly design become part of the Ontario Building Code; if the PC government does not listen they plan to take the matter to Ottawa.
The release of the AR6 Synthesis Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change earlier this week provides the strongest data yet on the need for immediate action to slow global temperature increase. We are at a critical juncture.
A group of youth descended on Mississauga City Hall this week, demanding stronger action to protect their generation, following years of apathy by leaders who won’t have to deal with the consequences of their neglect.
March 22 marks World Water Day which has sparked action by community members and environmental organizations across the province. Alongside this heightened activism, governments on all levels are increasingly overlooking the need to protect our vast freshwater supplies, which the entire world might one day rely on.
Ahead of World Water Day, Andrew McCammon, Executive Director of the Ontario Headwaters Institute, questions why the province isn’t doing more to ensure the long-term sustainability of our vast and vital freshwater systems.
Across the province a coalition of nonprofits and nonpartisan citizen-led advocacy groups has come together under the banner: Alliance for a Liveable Ontario.
After almost five years of rule under Doug Ford, as residents have watched him undermine the public healthcare system, put our critical ecosystems and natural spaces at risk and strip away key democratic functions in local government, the new umbrella organization promises to be his true legacy—the premier who brought Ontario together… to defeat him.
During their most recent election campaign, the federal Liberals promised $1 billion over ten years for a renewed Freshwater Action Plan. The following year the same elected officials, under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, committed two percent of the total funds promised. With threats from climate change, Bill 23 and other impacts of human encroachment on our freshwater supply, the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative is asking the Liberal government to live up to its commitment.
Following an inspection of its 25 stormwater management ponds, the City of Niagara Falls found more than half need costly maintenance to continue serving their vital function.
The status of the ponds has led some environmentalists to call for natural solutions to mitigate flooding and capture storm runoff as urban development increases across Ontario.
Doug Ford and members of his PC caucus have repeatedly claimed that Bill 23, their unprecedented aggressive housing legislation to construct 1.5 million new homes by 2031, was driven by demand created by immigration. Accommodating newcomers, they claim, is a key objective.
The facts show this is blatantly misleading.
Has Ontario lost the stability of its seasons? Dramatic variability in temperature and precipitation this winter has left many wondering about the impacts of climate change on our province.
Day-to-day or even month-to-month weather patterns are influenced by a variety of factors, but overall average temperatures are increasing, leaving Ontario open to more intense winter storms—despite what the current mild conditions may suggest.
The signs of increasing social isolation, discrimination, food insecurity and precarious employment are all around us. Walk out your door or scan the latest headlines to bear witness as the impacts of growing income disparity, mental health crisis and the mistreatment of vulnerable populations tear our social fabric apart.
A coalition of the province’s non-profit sector partners is calling on all levels of government to use public funds, for the public interest.
Since Jason Tamming returned to head Brampton’s communications department, the City and the man back in charge of information in and out of City Hall refuse to acknowledge he is once again employed by the municipality. Tamming was first hired in 2019, after the election of Patrick Brown, who has ties to the former Niagara Region employee through Conservative politics. He was fired by Niagara after Ontario’s Ombudsman highlighted Tamming’s corrupt behaviour in a CAO hiring scandal.
He departed Brampton last year when a majority of councillors pushed back against Brown for hiring and procurement moves under his leadership, but Tamming is now back in his old role.
The Canadian government has failed to address the climate crisis; in doing so it has violated the Charter rights of young people across Canada. That’s the case a group of youth are making, to convince the court system that the complaint should go to trial after it was initially dismissed in 2020.
The legal strategy is part of a tactical shift in the environmental movement as judicial systems are increasingly being used to hold governments accountable.
Former Mississauga MP Stella Ambler wants to provide concerned citizens across Canada an outlet to hold their local councillors accountable for waste, corruption or other misdeeds.
Municipal Watch, launched in January, hopes to become an official opposition to local mayors and councillors who abuse their positions. Ambler intends to fill a gaping hole in a local accountability system that is failing, as elected officials flout toothless rules and democratic rights are stripped away.
The Justin Trudeau Liberal government has warned it will not hesitate to protect species at risk, and, most recently, suggested it has the authority to stop the Ontario PC government’s Greenbelt carve outs.
But the federal government does not have a consistent record around enforcement of environmental protections, raising concern their words will not be followed by action.
When Bill 23 was brought to the table, proposing a range of changes that would have devastating consequences for the natural environment, a group of scientists banded together to provide crucial information on wetland habitats.
Now that the Bill has passed, limiting the power of conservation authorities, Save Ontario Wetlands is hoping to provide necessary expertise to municipalities when dealing with development proposals.
The TRCA has elected Toronto City Councillor Paul Ainslie as the new Chair of the Board of Directors. The decision comes as conservation authorities are increasingly under fire from the Doug Ford government, which has stripped away many of the powers that previously allowed CAs to safeguard ecosystems against development. They will need to find new and creative ways to continue protecting watersheds across the province.
Housing minister Steve Clark is officially under investigation by the provincial government’s integrity commissioner over his role in legislation that removes 7,400 acres of Greenbelt land for future development.
If the investigation finds wrongdoing, it’s unclear what the outcome will be as any penalty or reprimand against Clark must be approved by a strong PC majority within Queen’s Park.
For three seasons, any hunter with a small game licence and a shotgun has been allowed to kill up to 15 double-crested cormorants a day between September and December.
The PC government, which approved this hunt in 2020, says it is a sound wildlife management practice. However, a closer look at the science behind the decision, or lack thereof, and the near total absence of monitoring of cormorant populations, raises significant concern about the Ford government’s reasons for targeting a native Canadian species.
As the Town of Erin continues to push forward with pre-construction on the wastewater treatment facility, set to be fully operational by 2028, residents of the Town and nearby communities are rallying against the project.
Citizens within the Town are concerned about connection costs while those on the outskirts are worried about depreciated property values. Many are also worried about the threat caused by sending effluent discharge into the West Credit River and what it will do to the surrounding ecosystems.
The consequences of the PC government’s plan to build 1.5 million new homes, regardless of the environmental impacts—driven by the legislative engine known as Bill 23—have been well documented.
But in Niagara, a region flanked by two Great Lakes, the geographic reality means accommodations for development will trigger a domino of impacts in the unique watershed.
At a time when the online exploitation of children is reaching historic levels, a new report details how schools across Canada are failing to protect kids from potential abuse by those who are meant to be mentors in their lives.
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection is calling on governments of all levels to implement new systems to protect children from abuse by educators at school.
When the announcement broke recently that scientists had achieved “ignition” for the first time ever, creating more energy output than the energy used to create the gain, physicists around the world heralded the dawn of a new era in our fight to prevent catastrophic climate change.
As the initial euphoria around nuclear fusion has worn off experts are reminding the world that renewable sources of energy are still the key to dramatically reducing carbon emissions. Fusion should be added to our toolbox for emissions free energy but it might not reach our grid for decades.
Driven by his authoritarian tendencies and disdain for urbanites, Ontario’s Premier is determined to wrest power from large municipalities. Former Brampton councillor Terry Miller warns Peel and other regions that local decision making based on community values is under threat by a man who has his own agenda. He does not care about what the people want.
A recent report from Niagara Region’s planning commissioner, Michelle Sergi, and the subsequent Council decision on it, were a disturbing start to the new municipal term of office. She failed to represent the voices of residents fighting to protect the Greenbelt, instead supporting the Doug Ford government’s desire to remove Niagara portions of the protected land, and even recommended two more parcels of the Greenbelt in the region also be removed for sprawl-style development.
Through a partnership between Osprey Valley and Golf Canada, Caledon will become Canada’s new home for the sport’s national headquarters.
But public and private courses and those owned by municipalities are facing unique challenges, from the demands of the game in a time-starved world to the impacts on greenspaces at a time when sustainability is crucial to the planet’s future.
The slew of legislation imposed by the Ford government, in its effort to push the subdivision development industry’s agenda, will cause wide-ranging damage to the various natural water systems across Ontario.
The consequences to ecosystems and the human population that depends on them will be devastating.
It’s not Minority Report, but a reality for specialized police officers across the country trying to catch child predators in an increasingly vast and secretive online world.
Two landmark rulings from Canada’s most powerful court—one at the end of November—have helped level the playing field, giving detectives the green light to continue luring those seeking to do irreparable harm to children.
Canada’s first fully electric vehicle manufacturing plant opened its doors two weeks ago after receiving significant funding from both the federal and provincial government. As the pace of EV take-up seems poised to dramatically accelerate, municipalities need to invest in infrastructure so the public can shift away from carbon-based vehicles.
As COP15 came to a close, nearly 200 nations signed onto the Kunming—Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework which lays out four broad goals and 23 specific targets to achieve worldwide by 2030.
While the 30 by 30 goal — 30 percent of the Earth’s land, oceans, coastal areas and inland waters protected by 2030 — is being celebrated, many remain skeptical about the political and corporate will to achieve the targets.
As public uproar continues in opposition to Bill 23 and changes to Greenbelt legislation, the head of Ontario’s government agency responsible for protecting species at risk has resigned.
It is the latest message aimed at Doug Ford and his PC government, which continues to push aside environmental safeguards to make way for sprawl-style development.
Bill 23 has upended urban planning in Ontario, forcing municipalities to take action against legislation aimed at usurping their authority over local land use.
Environmental organizations and other advocates are trying to fill the knowledge gap so local officials can make the best decisions to protect the province’s remaining greenspaces.
One of the key themes of COP 15 in Montreal is the role that cities can play in protecting biodiversity. Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante formed the Montreal Pledge encouraging cities to take action to protect the natural environment instead of waiting for direction from higher levels of government.
Every day, the human trafficking unit of the Niagara Police tries to find a needle in a haystack. Traffickers, bringing their victims to Niagara to cash in on the transient, bustling tourist scene, are easily able to blend in with the crowd, using one of the region’s hundreds of hotels or motels to conduct their illegal business.
It will take buy-in from across the region and its many tourism sector stakeholders to stop the scourge.
The Province has confirmed to The Pointer that no Record of Site Condition report was submitted by the developer prior to the residential zoning switch last year. The report is required before land-use is changed for a former industrial property, and is supposed to ensure contaminants are identified as part of work to remediate the land to keep the public safe. The Ministry of Environment has confirmed earlier findings of high levels of toxic PCBs leaking from what was formerly a 50-acre manufacturing site.
After the land was bought in 2014, the property owner is finally proposing to mitigate the contamination and limit further leakage from the former GM site, but no official record of the property’s condition has been submitted to the Province.
A report released by Environmental Defence shows Canada will not meet its goal of zero plastic waste by 2030.
Plastic plays a major role in our lives; it’s the responsibility of all levels of government to find creative solutions.