This event is dedicated to building a youth voice to speak up for climate action in solidarity with Greta Thunberg and other young people across the world.
Join the students on FRIDAY, MARCH 15th from 12.30 to 1:30pm in solidarity with a worldwide climate strike outside of MP Bardish Chagger’s office / Waterloo City Hall at 100 Regina Street in Uptown Waterloo. Map The focus will be on youth, but all are welcome.
Kitchener-Waterloo Climate Save, RISE for Climate Waterloo, Divest Waterloo, and the local chapters of Citizens’ Climate Lobby and 350.org would like to facilitate and support youth climate strikes in our region … for their future.
The Nith Valley Ecoboosters are pleased to present an event about food waste. Recent media attention has focused on the amount of food that is wasted each year in Canada. Join the Ecoboosters on Wednesday, March 20th, 2019 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Zion United Church, 215 Peel St., New Hamburg (Map) to view the film “Just Eat It – A food waste story” and hear from three expert panelists who will share their thoughts on this issue.
The panelists include Dr. Alison Blay-Palmer, the director of the Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at Wilfrid Laurier University; Dr. Mike von Massow, the OAC Chair in Food System Leadership at University of Guelph; and Jennifer Pfenning, Director of Human Resources and Marketing, Pfenning’s Organic Farms, New Hamburg. Following the panel discussion, there will be an opportunity for the audience to ask questions.
In the face of climate change, resource extraction and sprawl, Mike’s draft legislation seeks to protect the Paris Galt Moraine, an essential water ecologically sensitive recharge area in the Grand River Watershed which naturally purifies water for the citizens of Guelph and the surrounding area. Bill 71 would amend the province’s Planning Act and Development Charges Act to more strictly regulate development that could jeopardize the moraine’s integrity.
“This is about conserving what nature can do for free, so I cannot think of a more fiscally responsible solution. Failure to act could put the government on the hook for hundreds of millions in water infrastructure, like an expensive pipeline from the Great Lakes.”
Mike wrote the draft legislation over a period of months where he consulted with water experts and Ontario stakeholders, including First Nations, municipalities, farmers and MPPs from all parties.
With this important legislation, Mike has demonstrated the Green Party’s core commitment to participatory democracy and consensus based governance by building all-party support, which resulted in the bill’s passage at Second Reading on March 7th, 2019. “I’m glad my colleagues unanimously showed their commitment to Ontario’s water today. Safeguarding water and food-growing farmland should not be partisan issues. Let this be a first step towards all-party collaboration to protect the places we love,” said Schreiner.
“I appealed to good progressive conservative thinking from the past. But it took four different bills over two years before the Oak Ridges Moraine was protected by legislation. With climate change on Ontario’s doorstep, and $1.2 billion in damage last year alone, we must act quicker. I look forward to working on this bill at committee, and this legislation returning to the House for a final vote.”
—Mike Schreiner, First Green legislation passes key vote with all-party support
This is not a Green Party event, but will be interesting for anyone concerned about water protection and the environment. WRGreens will have an information table at this event!
Doug Ford’s government for the developers has introduced a new disturbing piece of legislation. Bill 66 would allow developers to bypass important environmental protections and land use controls established under other provincial laws, plans and policies, such as the Clean Water Act and the Greenbelt Act, that protect our environment and our health.
The Canadian Environmental Law Association has said that Bill 66 together with other recent “laws to eliminate or dilute important environmental statutes, regulations and programs … constitutes the biggest and most significant environmental rollback to occur in a generation in Ontario.”
Join us to learn more about the implications of Bill 66 for our water and for our future.
What: Our Water Our Future When: Thursday, 7 February 2019 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm Where: First United Church Location:16 William St W, Waterloo, ON N2L 1J3 Map
While we appear to have made important progress on turning back one of the most egregious components of Bill 66, there remain significant problems in this bill, including Schedule 5 repealing the Toxics Reduction Act. Major concerns remain that the Ford ‘government for the developers’ may reduce the support for monitoring and enforcement of legislation that protects our water, land and air quality.
Join us on February 7th at First United Church in Waterloo at 7pm to celebrate our progress on Bill 66 and to engage with experts as they explain other current dangerous proposals and corresponding calls for action.
We have two powerful keynote speakers: Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director of the Canadian Environmental Law Association, former water policy advisor for Ministry of the Environment, and legal representative for citizens in the Walkerton Inquiry; and Bruce Davidson, Co-founder and Vice-Chair of Concerned Walkerton Citizens.
There will be lots of time to have your questions answered, as well as presentations from Susan Bryant of APT Environment on Elmira’s ongoing water contamination; Kevin Thomason of Grand River Environmental Network on countryside protection; and Arlene Slocombe of Waterloo Wellington Water Watchers on source water protection.
Refreshments will be served; please bring along your travel mug or water bottle.
This event is being organized by the following community partners:
During the election, Mr Ford categorically promised not to touch the Greenbelt.
Not only is the Greenbelt home to 5,500 farms, 78 species at risk and 102 million tonnes of carbon storage, the reason it was protected in the first place was to protect a great deal of Ontario’s water.
Because it was introduced quietly going into Christmas, and the Ford Government has since made no secret of its intention to push Bill 66 through quickly, I don’t know if anyone has yet managed a thorough examination of all the ramifications of Bill 66.
It may only be 35 pages long, but it’s an omnibus bill, which means everything you need to know isn’t contained in this draft legislation. You’d have to read through every one of the 22 laws it will change:
Some of the changes it makes may be good things, but bad things thoroughly outweigh any good that might be there. That’s the thing about Omnibus Bills: many different things are bundled together in a package too big to be adequately considered in a democracy.
There is no reason Bill 66 couldn’t be stopped, and the good parts could be reintroduced as ordinary laws that can be properly understood and debated in the Legislature.
Our unrepresentative voting system has gifted Mr Ford’s government with 100% power to pass any law it wants, even though it was elected by only 40% of the votes cast (a mere twentysomething percent of eligible votes).
So what’s the rush?
There is nothing stopping them from allowing citizens and the MPPs in the legislature to know what it is they are passing, and allow adequate parliamentary debate of all aspects. That’s how our system is supposed to work. In a majority government, even though the party with all the power can pass any law it wants, the reason we have an opposition parties is to ensure that our legislators make sure the laws they pass stand up to scrutiny. If there are bad unintended consequences, or even if the legislation is too broad or unclear, the opposition parties can be trusted to point these things out so they can be dealt with before they become law.
The only reason for pushing something like this through fast is to keep us from knowing what they’re doing until it’s too late. Keeping the people in the dark is not how a Government for the people would operate.
In the Region of Waterloo discussion of Bill 66, Waterloo Mayor Jaworsky said, “No one asked for this.” Mr Ford keeps talking about making Ontario “Open For Business.” But what does that mean? They say this law is supposed to “cut red tape” that prevents development.
But the fact is that development isn’t being prevented. There is plenty of room in Ontario, plenty of land available and open for development without going anywhere near the protected lands of the Green Belt. There is no need to endanger our water or anything else. That’s why municipalities across Ontario are passing resolutions saying they don’t want or need this.
Why is this happening?
When the laws protecting Ontario’s water and the Greenbelt were put in place, land prices in the Greenbelt stayed low. When farmland can’t be turned into a factory or subdivision, it stays viable as farmland. But because of the low prices, some developers bought land in the Greenbelt, speculating that in time they would elect a government willing to undo the Greenbelt protections. And so they did.
In spite of all-party approved changes to Ontario’s election financing law preventing political parties from accepting corporate donations, the changes didn’t go far enough. To skirt the law, developers like Mattamy Homes were allowed to contribute ridiculous sums of money to Partisan third party advertiser Ontario Proud, specializing in attack ads against Mr Ford’s opponents. (And Mr Ford is undoing that election financing law because the people he is for have lots of money to spend to ensure the governments they want get elected. But that’s another story.)
The only reason the Ford Government is trying so hard to carve up the green spaces of our province with factories and subdivisions is because their rich supporters want to make a profit.
Ontario has been doing a pretty good job of long term planning, protecting sensitive environments, our water and our food supplies. Once farmland is paved, its gone.
The best we can hope for from Bill 66 is that decades of careful land management will be messed up. Much of the law protecting our water dates back to the previous PC Government, and were put in place to protect Ontario from another Walkerton. Or another Elmira.
If that’s not bad enough, Bill 66 does away with any requirement for public notice or consultation or meetings, and no matter what problems are caused, we won’t even be able to appeal to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. So called “Open For Business” by-laws passed behind closed doors will trump laws, policies and municipal official plans developed through extensive and open public consultation. Communities would have no recourse to influence or challenge them.
And even if your Council doesn’t do any of these things, the Council next door might, and endanger the environment we all share.
January 20th is the deadline for comments to Bill 66 on the Environmental Registry of Ontario (EBR).
Be sure that you and others that you know speak up and let your concerns be known. It would be fantastic if your group or organization can make an official response or submission. There is plenty of information in the Bill 66 Recent Articles linked below. There are a myriad of issues and concerns, but you can say as little or as much as you like in your comment. Don’t be shy about making comments personally – even if it is just a short sentence or two. I would suggest making it clear right at the top that you don’t want Bill 66. I am afraid to say that at this point they are not likely to listen to what we say, but they will certainly tally up how many comments support or oppose the bill.
Please take two minutes to send a message to the Ontario Government to stop Bill 66:
You can also visit the Green Party of Ontario’s Defend The Greenbelt website. If you feel you need assistance in using the comment process, the GPO advises you to Click here for step-by-step instructions to participate in the government consultation.
And you can also call the Premier’s Office directly!
Call 416 325-1941 and leave a short message for Premier Doug Ford re your concerns about Bill 66
Catherine Fife, Waterloo, New Democratic Party
Room 154, Main Legislative Building,
Queen’s Park, Toronto M7A 1A5
Tel 416 325-6913, fax 416 325-6942
Suite 220 100 Regina St. S, Waterloo N2J 4P9 (office is in City Hall Bldg)
For legislative issues: Cfife-QP@ndp.on.ca
For community issues: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel 519 725-3477, fax 519 725-3667
Laura Mae Lindo, Kitchener Centre, New Democratic Party
Room 170, Main Legislative Building,
Queen’s Park, Toronto, M7A 1A5
Tel 416 326-7221, fax 416 326-7217
Suite 212, 25 Frederick St., Kitchener, N2H 6M8
For legislative issues: LLindo-QP@ndp.on.ca
For community issues: LLindo@ndp.on.ca
Tel 519 579-5460, fax 519 579-2121
Mike Schreiner, Guelph, Green Party
Room 451, Main Legislative Building,
Queen’s Park, Toronto M7A 1A2
Tel 416 325-4664, fax 416 325-4666 Mschreiner@ola.org
While the holidays have been a wonderful break from Bill 66, we don’t have much time to send a strong, clear message to Premier Ford about our concerns this Bill could have on our community, farmland, green space, and natural resources.
I’d like to remind you of the upcoming meeting this Thursday at the same room at CIGI as our initial community meeting. Details are as follows:
Date: Thursday, January 3, 2019 Time: 7:00pm Location: Room A142, CIGI – Centre for International Governance and Innovation – 67 Erb Street West, Waterloo Map Access: Through main West doors (facing Erb St) near Caroline St. Intersection
A tentative agenda for the meeting is as follows:
update/status of groups working to book Council delegation appearances at municipal and regional councils
update/status of groups working to book MPP meetings in local ridings
time for groups to meet in breakout sessions and figure out next steps/activities
planning/discussion of January 12th Bill 66 training event/protest in Ajax
planning/preparations for January 15th event at Kitchener City Hall with ECO Dianne Saxe and other speakers
We had a tremendous turnout at our initial meeting and It will be important to have at least one delegate from each community group at this next meeting to help ensure a strong, co-ordinated response to Bill 66.
Please share any questions or ideas and I hope to see you on Thursday evening.
P.S. There is a draft Citizens Toolkit for Bill 66 that is coming together as groups across the province aggregate their materials and efforts. It is evolving daily and contains some good background and supporting material against Bill 66.
P.P.S Also attached below are some initial social media images and video that are under development provincially:
If you’re not exactly sure what you want to tell the Ontario government’s Climate Consultation, resources follow. (We will update this page with any additional submissions people share with us.
DEMAND the Ontario Government keeps the independent Environmental watchdog, Ontario Environmental Commissioner Dianne Saxe, who has just released “her 2018 Environmental Protection Report, Back to Basics, to the Ontario Legislature.
Delivered as four individual volumes, the report calls on the provincial government to limit water pollution, commit funding towards programs that protect municipal drinking water sources, as well as increase the protection of wetlands, woodlands, and wildlife across the province.
“The environmental commissioner has a mandate to monitor the government’s compliance with provincial environmental laws, including Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights, and to report annually on the government’s progress toward its greenhouse gas reduction targets. The current commissioner is Dianne Saxe, a former environmental lawyer, appointed in 2015.”
— CBC Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli delivers the fall economic statement
Ontario needs the independent office of Ontario Environmental Commissioner for our own protection.
Rise For Climate Waterloo Region submission
I offer the following balanced solution to hold polluters accountable to ensure that GHG are reduced and to unlock the power of Ontario’s businesses to finance and drive innovative climate solutions.
Polluters are held accountable by putting a price on carbon pollution. In order to protect Ontarian families from the associated price increase, monies collected from the pollution price can be returned to citizens on a per-capita basis, through a dividend or “climate action incentive”. Canadians for Clean Prosperity has shown that 80% of Ontario’s households will actually get more in climate action incentives than they pay in carbon pollution fees. By having the Ontario Government cancel cap-and-trade, it has opened the door to a transparent price on carbon pollution, with climate action incentives to protect Ontario’s families from price increases.
Rather than entering a expensive court battle over putting a price on carbon (which increases both Federal and Provincial expenditures and therefore, taxes), the Ontario government could drop the lawsuit. Experts indicate that the Federal government will win the lawsuit, as it is critical for Canadian governments to take action on climate change.
In order for the price on carbon pollution to work effectively to reduce emissions, the price needs to be substantially higher than the $50 per tonne that it is scheduled to reach in 2022. Ontario should work with the Federal government to ramp-up of the price for the five years after 2022 to reach the emission reductions needed to meet Canada’s fair-share contribution to our international commitments under the United Nations Conference of the Parties.
As the carbon price increases, it impacts behaviour. In the short term, it will reduce consumption of carbon-intensive energy. In the medium term, it will affect purchasing decisions, as people will want to make purchases that create less carbon pollution. Over the long term, businesses will innovate and offer customers more choice and newer products to help them avoid creating and paying for carbon pollution.
To help Ontarians to assist in this transition, we call on the Provincial government to partner with Municipalities to implement a broad-based education program to educate regarding the causes, effects, and solutions on climate change. This will not only create the political will for bold changes that are necessary, but it will also prepare and strengthen our collective resiliency.
The Green Party of Ontario has an excellent plan of #ClimateAction (you’re not really surprised at this, are you?)
Science-based commitments: Ontario should do its part to limit global average temperature increase to no more than 2C above pre-industrial levels, aiming for 1.5C
Legislated emission targets: Ontario should adopt binding emission targets that respect our share of Canada’s obligations under the Paris Climate Agreement.
15% reduction below 1990 levels by 2020
37% reduction below 1990 levels by 2030
Net Carbon Neutral by 2050
Pollution pricing: Ontario should accept the global consensus from academics, economists, and Nobel Prize winning experts who agree that a price on pollution is the most effective and efficient way to reduce emissions. It is the foundation upon which a credible climate plan is built.
Job creation in the clean economy: Ontario should leap into the $26 trillion global clean economy, supporting jobs and investment in the fastest growing sectors in the world.
Energy efficiency and conservation: Ontario should prioritize energy efficiency and conservation as the first-step solutions for lowering our carbon footprint, while helping people and businesses to save money by saving energy.
Often when we talk about Climate Action the topic is about how to slow or stop Greenhouse Gas Emissions. But part of the problem is that we already have a ridiculous amount of carbon in our atmosphere now that needs to be dealt with. The comprehensive book “Drawdown” looks at a whole host of strategies — 100, in fact — for fighting climate change across the board. You’ll find even more ideas to include in your consultation submission on the Drawdown website’s solutions page
Suggestions from the Waterloo Region Federal Climate Change Consultation:
This is not a Green Party event, but since Sustainability and Ecological Wisdom are core values for all Green Parties everyone is encouraged to attend
The Nith Valley Ecoboosters are pleased to present an informative and timely talk featuring Dr. Blair Feltmate. Dr. Feltmate is Head of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation at the University of Waterloo. He has written textbooks on environmental science and sustainable development and is involved in the creation of several national climate adaptation Standards involving the National Research Council, Standards Council of Canada and the Canadian Standards Association. Blair is also Chair of the Federal Government of Canada Expert Panel on Climate Adaptation.
Significant damage from high winds, heavy rain and floods is becoming a more frequent occurrence. Members of our community need to know how to protect themselves and their property so that the effects of severe weather can be minimized. Dr. Feltmate will begin his presentation by establishing that climate change is real, and is causing extreme weather events – particularly in the form of flooding. This “new normal” situation has proven to be costly for all regions of Canada. In an effort to help limit future losses, the discussion will then address practical and cost-effective steps that home owners and communities can take to lower their flood risk profile. Dr. Feltmate will be happy to take questions from the audience throughout his presentation.
Doors open at 7:00PM and the presentation will begin at 7:30PM. Light refreshments will be served at approximately 8:45PM.
This event is sponsored by:
The Nith Valley Ecoboosters
The Imperial (New Hamburg)
Intact Insurance (London)
John Zehr Insurance (New Hamburg)
Zion United Church (New Hamburg)
Grant Holdings/Grant Jutzi (New Hamburg)
Nith Valley Construction (New Hamburg)
Kindred Credit Union (New Hamburg)
Town Pantry Health Food Store (New Hamburg)
The Baden Outlook
Jonathan Barker Illustration (New Hamburg)
What: Warmer, Wetter and Wilder with Dr. Blair Feltman When: Tuesday, 6 November 2018 from 7:30pm to 9:30pm Where: Zion United Church Location: 215 Peel Street, New Hamburg, Ontario Map
He has presented at all the major Climate summits, including the Paris Accord and once worked with Al Gore. Being frustrated that no one was talking about the REAL causes of climate change he co-produced three films, including Cowspiracy and What the Health.
The search for spiritual awakening, the search for environmental sustainability and the search for social justice are all part of the same search for moral singularity, a state of being where we routinely experience the ultimate happiness that is already within us.
Free presentation and discussion with Dr. Sailesh Rao
Co-producer of Cowspiracy: The sustainability Secret
Sunday, November 4, 2018, 1:00pm
Grand River Unitarian Congregation Map
299 Sydney Street South, Kitchener
Parking available, close to transit
Refreshments will be served.
Cities and regions around the globe are taking the myriad threats of climate change VERY seriously, and many are taking active steps to ‘future proof’ their communities. We are already seeing the impacts in our own backyards – and we know that decisions will need to be made today to address tomorrow’s looming climate dangers. On behalf of Region residents and voters concerned with the devastating impacts of climate change felt right here in the Region of Waterloo and across our warming planet, we asked candidates seeking office in the Region of Waterloo to review and reply to a survey questions.
The answers from all 4 candidates seeking Regional Chair position are posted HERE.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a special report today on the impacts of global warming of 1.5℃ above pre-industrial levels.
The report outlines the considerable challenges of meeting the Paris Agreement’s more ambitious goal of limiting warming to 1.5℃, the global effort needed to achieve the target, and the consequences of not.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the Australian Labor Party had a goal of reaching 50% renewable energy by 2050. But the ALP hope to achieve the 50% target via an emissions intensity scheme by 2030.