Ontario’s housing mandate put Burlington, Oakville, and Milton at risk of natural hazards: Conservation Halton
Published October 31, 2022 at 3:04 pm
New expectations from the Ontario government to increase housing supplies in Burlington, Oakville and Milton could put these communalities at increased risks of natural hazards, says a local conservation group.
Conservation Halton, the local conservation authority responsible for environmental protection, believes sweeping plans introduced by Queen’s Park just last week to increase the housing stock through intensification and other measures, will “nullify” its core functions and create holes in the delivery of services that protect communities from such things as flooding, erosion, and climate change.
In a letter sent to Premier Doug Ford and other top ranking Ontario government officials today (Oct. 32), Gerry Smallegange, chair of Conservation Halton Board of Directors, asks for clarification on the future role of conservation authorities based on the new housing legislation and to not diminish its role in guiding local environmental management.
The letter is also signed by the mayors of Burlington, Oakville and Milton.
“(These new measures) will negatively impact our ability to protect people and property from natural hazards, which seem to be more and more prevalent with extreme weather events,” the missive reads.
The letter goes on to say the Conservation Authority fears that some of its responsibilities under the new government directive will revert to municipalities which do not have the expertise or staffing levels to deal with watershed issues, environmental planning and regulatory compliance which will increase the costs of cities and towns.
Ultimately, the letter concludes by asking Premier Ford to “press pause” on many aspects of the housing legislation and to consider working with Conservation Halton to come up with an alternative plan.
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