The NDP is out with a series of recommendations to protect Ontario's lakes and rivers.
It includes the development of a provincial strategy.
NDP Environment Critic Sandy Shaw is tabling four solutions in the Ontario Legislature in connection with World Water Day.
“We must protect Ontario’s rivers, lakes, and watersheds,” says Shaw. “Today, the Ontario NDP is standing strong as advocates for our environment to fight for a provincial strategy that will protect our water.”
The NDP solutions include:
- Growing the Greenbelt: A motion to expand the Greenbelt and protect Ontario’s farmland from greedy land speculators.
- Protect Places: A motion that ensures the Ontario Government works with communities to develop a strategy to protect 30% of Ontario’s lands and waters by 2030.
- Water is for Life, Not for Profit: A motion to ensure that the Government of Ontario launches a transparent and public review of the permits for the Take Water process.
- Provincial Water Strategy: A motion to ensure the Ford government bases all its decisions about water on our Treaty obligations, public interest, and guaranteed access to sustainable water resources and commits to developing a provincial water strategy.
Energy and Climate Crisis Critic Peter Tabuns says we can't take water for granted any longer.
"The lakes are changing. We're going to see, without a doubt, increased drought, and we're going to see increased flooding. We need to make sure that our water supplies are protected so that we will have drinking water," says Tabuns.
The NDP notes long-term boil water advisories also still exist in 21 First Nations. Eleven are in MPP Sol Mamakwa's riding of Kiiwetinoong.
"This is not the 1950s. This is 2023, and we are treated as second-class people when we talk about clean drinking water. I think the biggest room in the world is room for improvement. Then the room for improvement would be giving everybody in Ontario access to clean drinking water," says Mamakwa.
The NDP also wants the Ford government to commit in writing that decisions impacting Ontario's waterways will be done with the input and consent of Indigenous communities.