Bill 82, the
Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Amendment Act (Anti-Fracking),
2015 is an opposition private member's Bill that received
rare government support and may actually pass. Proposed by NDP MPP
Peter Tabuns, Bill 82 would
ban any new fracking permits in Ontario. Bill 82 has received
second reading (approval in principle) and has been referred to the
Standing Committee on General Government for public hearings,
likely in the fall.
Bill 66, the
Great Lakes Protection Act, 2015 is a government Bill now
reintroduced for the second time. It would give the government much
broader regulatory powers to protect the Great Lakes, in
consultation with a GREAT LAKES GUARDIANS' COUNCIL. Bill 66 has
also been referred to the Standing Committee on General Government
for public hearings, likely in the fall.
The preamble and purposes of Bill 66 are:
Ontarians are fortunate to live in a province that benefits from
one of the largest freshwater ecosystems on earth. The health of
the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin is critical to present and
The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin provides for the health
and well-being of Ontarians. It provides drinking water and
supports a variety of fish and other wildlife. Aboriginal
communities within the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin have
important connections to the Basin: First Nations maintain a
spiritual and cultural relationship with water and the Basin is a
historic location where Métis identity emerged in Ontario.
Ontario's economy relies upon the water for electricity
generation, agriculture, manufacturing and shipping. Ontarians and
visitors enjoy the Great Lakes, Ontario's defining natural
features, for the recreational opportunities they provide and
natural attractions, such as Niagara Falls.
The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin is particularly
vulnerable to the effects of climate change and in the face of
additional cumulative pressures such as development, population
growth, loss and degradation of natural features, pollution and
invasive species, three of Ontario's four Great Lakes are in
decline. Co-ordinated action in and monitoring and reporting with
respect to the watersheds, lakes, rivers and coastal areas of the
Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin are needed to respond to the
impacts of and improve resilience to those pressures. While many
partners are working together to protect and restore the ecological
health of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin to ensure that
it provides Ontarians with a source of water that is drinkable,
swimmable and fishable, more needs to be done.
All Ontarians have an interest in the ecological health of the
Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin. The Government of Ontario
seeks to involve individuals and communities in its protection and
Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of
the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as
PURPOSES AND INTERPRETATION
1. (1) The purposes of this Act are,
(a) to protect and restore the ecological health of the Great
Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin; and
(b) to create opportunities for individuals and communities to
become involved in the protection and restoration of the ecological
health of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin.
(2) The purposes set out in subsection (1) include the
To protect human health and well-being through the protection
and restoration of water quality, hydrologic functions and the
ecological health of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin,
including through the elimination or reduction of harmful
To protect and restore watersheds, wetlands, beaches,
shorelines and other coastal areas of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence
To protect and restore the natural habitats and biodiversity of
the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin.
To protect and improve the capacity of the Great Lakes-St.
Lawrence River Basin to respond to the impacts and causes of
To improve understanding and management of the Great Lakes-St.
Lawrence River Basin by advancing science and promoting the
consideration of traditional ecological knowledge relating to
existing and emerging stressors and by establishing and maintaining
monitoring and reporting programs or other actions with respect to
the ecological conditions of the Basin.
To enrich the quality of life in communities in the Great
Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin through support of environmentally
sustainable economic opportunities, innovation and environmentally
sustainable use of natural resources.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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