Ontario Nature shares many of the concerns raised by the Auditor General in her 2020 Annual Report on the environment. Among many alarming issues, the report highlights both Ontario’s reduced legal protection for species at risk and the lack of an effective, adequately resourced protected areas system.
Ontario has added only 0.003 percent of its lands to the protected areas system in the past five years falling woefully short of Canada’s international commitments. It urgently needs a plan and province-wide target to expand its network of protected areas.
“The government should be working with willing parties to take advantage of significant opportunities to establish new protected areas in Ontario, including Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas,” says Caroline Schultz, Ontario Nature’s Executive Director. “As noted by the Auditor General, we need an effective network of protected areas to halt the ongoing loss of biodiversity and help mitigate the impact of climate change.”
Ontario Nature also supports the Auditor General’s call for increased compliance with the Environmental Bill of Rights. The repeated failure of government ministries to provide adequate notice of, information about and time to respond to proposals seriously undermines meaningful public engagement in environmental decision-making.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: John Hassell, Ontario Nature, firstname.lastname@example.org, 416-786-2171 (cell)