• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

Municipalities don’t listen to the people’

In Adjala-Tosorontio
Jun 13th, 2010

Orangeville Citizen April 1 2010 — Letter — I noticed in our newspaper that Adjala-Tosorontio Councillor Jack Jordan would like a meeting with the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority to clear up muddy waters around fill in the township. It is good to have dialogue to resolve any concerns, but not in closed meetings.
Councillor Jordon then criticized the NVCA for having a fill bylaw that has different rules and seems to take precedence over his municipality’s. Deputy Mayor Doug Little agrees and believes the fill lines on the NVAC map cause the town to “lose jurisdiction” to the Conservation Authority. Mr. Little also added that “We should be the lead on any bylaws in our township, not an outside organization”.
Many municipalities don’t listen to the people within their township now. Meetings behind closed doors, has become the normal procedure. A Conservation Authority is not a fly by night organization. They are University, professionally trained personnel, who are the voice for the Environmental interests of the public.
Municipalities across the Province, now want to limit or even eliminate the powers of Conservation Authorities. Since when did anyone in the municipalities take courses or have degrees in the Environment? Are they experts in water preservation and proper land use? Do they know better than the Conservation Authorities? These are the same municipalities who favour gravel pits, on prime farm land north of Shelburne. The same municipalities who had to be forced to vote on a moratorium for Site 41. The Site where the County wanted to put a dump over top of the pristine Alliston Aquifer near Elmvale. Even though there is a moratorium on Site 41, the County still refuses to revoke the permit. The dump is not a dead issue.
These are the same municipalities, with no regard for the existing homes in rural areas, want to take water off Natural Core, Oak Ridges Moraine for new development in Colgan, and Millbrook. Look around, go on the internet and see that problems like these are happening all over the Province.
We need someone to keep a check on the municipalities. Around the Province, municipalities already have so much power that they are virtually unaccountable to anyone. There should be checks and balances, not a group who has carte blanche to do whatever they want. Not people, who think they know more than the experts and then make decisions “in camera” (behind closed doors).
The current comments about the Conservation Authorities are just a continuous criticism from municipalities, wanting to set the stage to eliminate Conservation Authorities altogether. It is happening across the Province.
We are told that if you don’t like something a government is doing, then vote them out of office. Unfortunately, many years can pass before the next Election and by that time the damage is done. Fortunately, there is a Municipal Election coming up this fall. There are some supporters of our Conservation Authorities so approach your current municipality and any declared candidates, to find out their stand and have them justify their decision and express your concerns. If our Conservation Authorities disappear, then there is no one to speak for us.
John Yovanoff


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