A local environmentalist is urging people to keep a critical eye on Ontario’s plan to build more homes, saying that the movement could put wetlands at risk.
Kelly Wallace, of Think Turtle Conservation Initiative, is organizing rallies and petitions against Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act. It’s a key piece of Premier Doug Ford’s mandate to build 1.5 million homes to address a housing shortage. But Wallace worries that the government’s plan to build quick, may result in the loss of wetlands that are important to ecosystems.
“We want the government to ensure there’s environmental measures that are in place,” says Wallace. “The big message is, we want the government to build on land that’s already designated for development.”
Wallace worries that the province won’t do enough to protect wetlands, which would ruin important ecosystems and alter the natural environment.
“Where do you think that water is a going to go. You can stop nature. Water is going to go where water goes, so flooding is going to be prevalent.”
A Ministry of Natural Resources spokesperson tells Moose FM that it welcomes feedback on these plans and people can submit concerns they have through the Ontario Environmental registry. A statement from MNR says the government values the importance of wetlands and the new commitments to housing won’t change that.
The statement also says that a new wetland evaluation system in the works is designed to streamline how wetlands are evaluated and it will help restore and enhance existing wetlands, as well as create new ones.