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Better wetland policy needed

Waterloo Region Record, Letter to the Editor

September 22, 2016

Re: Wetland strategy is fraught with risks – Sept. 20

Barry Warner is dead right in his article “Wetland strategy fraught with risks,” that wetland offsetting is risky business. He points to the need for sound science, strong government oversight, certified professionals and careful financial management. I would add clear, coherent policy that sets ambitious targets and strict limits to offsetting to his list. The government’s proposed target – achieving no net loss of wetlands by 2030 – is pitiful. We can’t afford to aim so low. Wetlands in southern Ontario alone provide services (climate regulation, flood control, water filtration, wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities) valued at more than $50 billion per year. A big concern with offsetting is that, if not done right, it could undermine existing protections for provincially significant wetlands and coastal wetlands where development is currently prohibited. The government must avoid such an outcome at all costs. The new policy must uphold, or better yet enhance, the existing level of protection.



Anne Bell
Director of Conservation and Education
Ontario Nature