Ontario’s environmental watchdog issued a warning that the province has changed legislation that will see its natural resources exploited – something Sault MPP and Minister of Natural Resources David Orazietti argues vehemently against. Environmental commissioner Gord Miller states in his annual report that provincial government cutbacks announced during the spring budget will result in the Ministry of Natural Resources having less power to protect Ontario’s resources. Instead, the powers will be delegated to private companies, which in turn could lead to exploitation of Crown land, wildlife and natural resources, the report states.
He referred to Ontario’s far north as turning into the “wild west,” particularly with the potential development around the Ring of Fire, expected to be the province’s most promising mineral development of chromite and warns that major industrial activities can proceed with few checks.
He also criticized the government for a lack of an action plan to deal with invasive species like the Asian carp and emerald ash borer.
But Orazietti counters that Miller has misinterpreted the rules and that the new power for private companies only deals with minor changes on issues like dredging permits and the removal of vegetation that only has minimal environmental impact. Continue Reading →