Niagara Escarpment Environmental Protections Must Be Upheld – Niagara NDP Rep.

“The Niagara Escarpment is a unique and vital landmark running right through the heart of southwestern Ontario. Our communities rely on this conservation area for recreation, green space, and local wildlife protections.”                       – Jennie Stevens, NDP MPP for St. Catharine, Ontario

A News Release from the Constituency Office of St. Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens

Posted December 1st, 2022 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens

NIAGARA – The NDP’s Niagara area MPPs are calling on the Ford government to provide the funding and oversight needed to uphold environmental protections of the Niagara Escarpment.

Their call comes after the Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk’s 2022 Report (released this November 30th) found that the Niagara Escarpment has been virtually stripped of environmental protections, leaving it vulnerable to harmful development that have been ongoing quietly for years.

“The Niagara Escarpment is a unique and vital landmark running right through the heart of southwestern Ontario,” said Jennie Stevens, MPP for St. Catharine’s. “Our communities rely on this conservation area for recreation, green space, and local wildlife protections. Yesterday’s report revealed that there is effectively no protection for any of this land anymore, and no consequences to building on the Escarpment against the rules.”

Almost all development permits on the Niagara Escarpment have been approved in the last five years, with several going directly against the Niagara Escarpment Plan, the Auditor General’s report found.

Former Niagara NDP MPP Mel Swart in the early 2000s, at the unveiling of a sign declaring the Niagara Escarpment a biosphere of global significance, File photo by Doug Draper

“We’ve seen Mr. Ford break his promise and announce his plan to bulldoze the Greenbelt, and we know this means green space across the province is now at risk,” said Wayne Gates, MPP for Niagara Falls. “We are already seeing the consequences of Mr. Ford quietly taking funding away from the Niagara Escarpment.”

The Auditor General’s report found that there is currently no environmental monitoring of the Niagara Escarpment. When the specialist responsible for environmental monitoring left their post in 2015, the position was never filled, leaving the land vulnerable to exploitation with no oversight.

“We can’t just let Mr. Ford take protections away from the Niagara Escarpment,” said Jeff Burch, MPP for Niagara Centre. “This unique landmark provides untold benefit to the surrounding land and our communities. The Niagara NDP MPPs are committed to pushing for the funding and oversight required to protect the Niagara Escarpment.”

For more on the Ontario Auditor General’s report, click on – https://www.auditor.on.ca/en/content/news/22_newsreleases/2022_news_AR.pdf

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One response to “Niagara Escarpment Environmental Protections Must Be Upheld – Niagara NDP Rep.

  1. ROBERT MILENKOFF

    With the Auditor General picking apart the protection of the Niagara Escarpment with that post being eliminated in 2015 you have to laugh. Now the Liberals got caught and have to back pedal as you can read in an interview in the Narwal news where Liberal MPP John Fraser says ” we didn’t always get everything right” YA THINK !……. Remember who was in power back in 2016 when we tried to get an audit on the NPCA. Hello !!! …………………. the Liberals wouldn’t listen to NDP MPP Cindy Forster on how corrupt the NPCA really was and all of a sudden after 2 years of pressure and protesting an in-depth audit was done by guess who ” the one and only Bonnie Lysyk” with a scathing report on just how bad that organization was. Thanks to local activist Ed Smith and NDP MPP Cindy Forster and their determination to prove their point on just how bad the corruption of the NPCA was we finally got that organization on the right track, only to have Mr. Ford and his minions completely strip it of it’s power along with greenbelt protection thus allowing the developers free reign to do as they please for the next three and half years.

    Like

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