Will Water Quality Be Protected Under Doug Ford's Government?
Ontario’s Environment Ministry recently highlighted a report on the quality of drinking water in Ontario, showing 99.8 per cent of more than half a million test results from municipal residential drinking water systems met Ontario's drinking water quality standards.
"Ontario's drinking water remains among the best protected in the world," said Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. "In Ontario, our water is protected by strict health-based drinking water standards, comprehensive legislation and strong monitoring, reporting and enforcement that ensure the quantity and quality of our drinking water."
The government is also proposing to extend the moratorium on new and increasing permits to take groundwater to produce bottled water until January 1, 2020. This will allow time to complete a thorough review of water taking policies, programs and science tools to ensure continuous supply.
"Our government will ensure the continued protection of our water resources," said Phillips. "Actions set out in our new environment plan will help us tackle the many pressures on our water resources and ensure our lakes, waterways and groundwater are well protected, now and for future generations."
However, there are skeptics concerned whether the government’s commitment to environmental protection and over water quality is enough.
In a press release, Tim Gray, the Executive Director of the non-profit Environmental Defence, pointed out how the province’s insistence that the environment will be safe was only talk if the legislation designed to protect it was not enforced.
“Bill 66 overrides the Ontario Clean Water Act and 38 source water protection plans that safeguard sources of drinking water across Ontario, as well as the Great Lakes Protection Act and the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan.”
“The Minister’s report also makes reference to Ontario’s new environmental plan. But any commitments to drinking water protection in the environmental plan amount to little more than a statement of good will, while Bill 66 is an actual piece of legislation that undercuts all of these protections. These contradictions cannot be ignored.”
“Ontario’s drinking water sources will be under significant threat if Bill 66 passes. This report is misleading and dishonest. In it, the Ontario government is celebrating the comprehensive drinking water legislation that it has very recently put under significant threat.”
There is already heavy criticism at Ford over his “open for business” zoning bylaws which have the potential to open up the Greenbelt for development.
You can’t get around having clean water; it’s a necessity of life. And with the Tories previously history with the Walkerton tragedy those many years ago.
Do you think the Ontario government is doing enough to protect water quality in the province?
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