Resilient landscapes and healthy water in South-central Ontario
Welcome to WaterScape III. Our mission is to facilitate community discussions on a renewed policy framework to ensure resilient landscapes and healthy water in South-central Ontario.
Please click to see the full Discussion Document Feb 2020.
Due to Covid-19, planned meetings are being shifted to webinars, some of which will be regional and some sectoral. A list of webinars will be posted under Participate.
Webinar presentations are being facilitated by a WS III Support Document that provides common background and a concise version of the 2 over-arching policy recommendations and the 22 suggested priority actions.
Finally, in order to keep this website compact, information on WaterScapes I and II has been moved to ontarioheadwaters.ca/waterscape.
Our first webinar to discuss resilient landscapes and health water for South-central Ontario, based on our Discussion Document, will be this Friday from 10 am. While anyone is welcome to join in, we are pitching this webinar to the area around Orillia, in collaboration with The Land Between and Scales Nature Park.
The webinar will run 10 – 11:15 am. More details can be found and you can register at Eventbright. Once you register, you will be sent links to background information and on how to log in to the webinar.
Environmental partners are great. Yes – we have many partners for the proposed series of WaterScape presentations around South-central Ontario. Now, however, they are stepping up more than ever as we shift to webinars, due to Covid-19.
Our first event, centred on Orillia, is being supported by both The Land Between and Scales Nature Park. Both are supporting local outreach, while The Land Between is also helping with technical support.
While we shift to webinars, we hope to both keep a geographic focus and cap the number of registrants to ensure meaningful discussion. We will provide the dates for other webinars as they become firm.
WaterScape III will:
- Circulate an extensive discussion document with two over-arching policy recommendations and 22 suggested priority actions;
- Solicit comments on the document through our website, social media, and presentations;
- Hold 10 – 15 presentations across the Greater Golden Horseshoe and in The Land Between;
- Use comments to issue a second draft of the document for final comments; and,
- Produce a final document for endorsement by organizations and members of the public.
The timing is important. Ontario’s environmental protections are being reduced and public consultation is being constrained. WaterScape III seeks to facilitate increased understanding of:
- The importance of protecting our lands and water;
- The interdependence of environmental, economic, and social vitality; and,
- The need for sustainable planning, fulsome consultation, cumulative monitoring, adaptive management, and equitable access to legal recourse.
We are particularly concerned that recent changes to and current reviews of the Conservation Authorities Act, as well as the government’s perceived direction on flooding, indicate the dismantling of historic efforts on the conservation of lands, watershed management, and flooding. We are concerned that this will present yet another outcome where key functions will be abandoned rather than improved.
We hope you find our Discussion Document helpful, especially with respect to current provincial efforts on conservation authorities, flooding, and the housing action plan. We look forward to your comments and participation. If you would like a presentation, please contact us at your convenience.
The launch of WaterScape includes the provision of a Discussion Document. We will seek comments via social media and presentations; we hope to provide 10 – 15 presentations; and comments will be open until May 29, 2020.
WaterScape III will be delivered through the community engagement portfolio of the Ontario Headwaters Institute (the OHI), which requires collaborative efforts in participation with partners. Consistent with our other efforts focused on policy development, educational activities, and civic engagement, WaterScape III will be non-partisan and non-political, adhering to federal and provincial guidelines.
We thank our early funders, a key group of advisors who provided guidance and expertise, and organizations supporting WaterScape as a publicity and/or event partner. In fact, we already have commitments to stage 6 of our target of 10 – 15 presentations. We look forward to seeing you at an event and reading your comments.