Ford Government is Coming After Ontario’s Precious Wetlands

Urge the Government of Ontario to respect and uphold protections for Provincially Significant Wetlands and to stop its misuse of Minister’s Zoning Orders

Could the Provincially Significant Wetlands in the Thundering Waters Forest in Niagara Falls Be Next?

A Call-Out from Ontario Nature, a citizens advocate for natural heritage preservation in Ontario

Posted November 4th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

The Government of Ontario is showing its true colours with recent moves to ride roughshod over protections for Provincially Significant Wetlands (PSWs).

The first sign of trouble was a Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO) to demolish three PSWs on agriculturally zoned land in Vaughan so that a Walmart distribution facility could be constructed.

Don’t let Ontario Premier Doug Ford and the worst in the development industry take out places like this – provincially significant wetlands in the Thundering Waters Forest in Niagara Falls, Ontario. What is left of our natural heritage and the health benefits natural spaces offer are worth far more than the narrow-mindedness of far too many in government and the development industry.

The second was a decision to destroy a large coastal PSW in the City of Pickering to make room for a warehousing facility, again through an MZO. The next domino may be five wetlands within the provincially significant East Humber River Wetland Complex in Vaughan.

What is going on? Is the government declaring open season on PSWs?

Given the immense benefits that wetlands  provide – flood mitigation, water filtration, carbon sequestration, recreational opportunities, wildlife habitat and more – provincial policy rightly prohibits development on those that are evaluated and deemed to be provincially significant. In fact, PSWs in southern Ontario enjoy the highest level of protection of any natural feature.

Niagara Falls, Ontario Mayor Jim Diodati has been a relentless champion for plans by a China-based developement corporation, GR, to build inside the wetland-rich Thundering Waters Forest area in the Niagara River watershed.

Unfortunately, developers and their pals on municipal councils have found a new way to circumvent wetland protections: MZOs. This tool, the current go-to of the Ontario government, allows the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to ignore provincial policy, bypass municipal planning processes and directly zone land for pet projects.

The Minister does not have to give notice or consult with the public prior to issuing an MZO and there is no opportunity for appeal.

Wetlands are critical to building community resilience to climate change impacts such as flooding. Public participation in land use decisions is also vital to ensure they are in the public interest rather than the interest of a few developers.

Please join Ontario Nature at – <> in urging the Government of Ontario to respect and uphold protections for PSWs and to stop its misuse of MZOs.

To get engaged in this fight to save Ontario’s natural heritage, click on –<>

– The Team at Ontario Nature

About Ontario Nature – Ontario Nature protects wild species and wild spaces through conservation, education and public engagement. Ontario Nature is a charitable organization representing more than 30,000 members and supporters, and 155 member groups across Ontario.

For more information about Ontario Nature,  visit

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“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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