Niagara, Ontario Area MPP Tables Legislation Restoring Transperancy And Accountability To Conservation Authority Boards

 The bill, if passed, would require that at least half of the membership of conservation authority boards includes individuals with significant training, experience or employment history  in an                      environmental or natural resource field.

What we’re seeing across the province are conservation authority boards that aren’t putting the protection of the environment first.” – Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster

News from the Constituency Office of Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster

Posted December 7th, 2016 on Niagara At Large

Queen’s Park, Toronto – This December 7th, Welland NDP MPP, Cindy Forster, tabled legislation that would ensure greater transparency and accountability within conservation authority boards across the province.

Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster stands by her call for a full, forensic audit of the Conservation Authority.

Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster stands by her call for a full, forensic audit of the Conservation Authority.

The bill, if passed, would require that at least half of the membership of conservation authority boards includes individuals with significant training, experience or employment history in an environmental or natural resource field.

“I’ve been hearing about this from my constituents for years. I’ve received numerous complaints that conservation authorities aren’t properly conserving wetlands and natural heritage in the way they should be. Worse, I’m being told developers have more leeway than taxpayers. This goes against the very mandate of a conservation authority and this legislation would go a long way to fixing that,” said Forster. 

Earlier this year, Forster wrote a letter to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry echoing concerns raised by local community groups about a Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) proposal that sought to give approval to a large development project seeking to build on significantly protected wetlands – a process called biodiversity offsetting – which goes against the very mandate of what a conservation authority is tasked with.

“Over the last year, I’ve worked with advocates, community members, environmentalists and countless others who have raised their concerns about the NPCA. It very quickly became apparent that we weren’t alone. Communities across the province faced similar issues with their own conservation authority boards and if passed, this bill will go a long way to ensuring that trust and accountability are restored to conservation authority boards placing a greater emphasis on the environment than development interests,” said Forster.

The bill comes at the heels of recent developments in the region that have community groups raising legitimate questions about the NPCA’s management and operation.

Late Monday evening (December 5th), St. Catharine’s city council passed a motion receiving unanimous consent that urges the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry to conduct a forensic financial audit of the NPCA. It’s expected that other municipalities will follow suit over the next few weeks.

What we’re seeing across the province are conservation authority boards that aren’t putting the protection of the environment first. I recognize that development is an important and very necessary part of any region’s growth, but in pursuit of those projects, it’s critical for us as legislators to ensure that we strike the appropriate balance of economic growth that ensures the protection of our fragile ecosystems,” said Forster.

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 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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One response to “Niagara, Ontario Area MPP Tables Legislation Restoring Transperancy And Accountability To Conservation Authority Boards

  1. Samuel McAdorey

    The tide is turning…

    Like

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