CELA Bulletin

CELA Bulletin 18-December-2003This "E-Bulletin" (arriving via the "CELA Bulletin" listserve) to the media and members and friends of the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) provides brief updates on current environmental issues in which CELA is involved. Contact information and relevant website links are also noted. Subscribe on-line at E-Bulletin Sign-up.In this issue:1. CELA APPLAUDS ONTARIO PLANNING ACT CHANGES 2. SOURCE PROTECTION PLANNING: COMMITTEES ANNOUNCED3. ONTARIO MOVES TO PROTECT WATER AND STOP GIVING IT AWAY 4. JANUARY 17th WATER WORKSHOP: REMINDER 5. CELA IN 2003: HIGHLIGHTS 6. REMINDER TO CELA MEMBERS AND SUBSCRIBERS TO INTERVENOR 7. STAFF CONTACT INFORMATION1. CELA Applauds Ontario Planning Act ChangesThis week, the Ontario government introduced important changes to Ontario’s Planning Act and promised to conduct extensive public consultation regarding additional planning matters. CELA is supportive of these changes noting that they should go a long way to making the municipal land use process open, accessible and protective of natural heritage.For more information: (see staff contact information below)Theresa McClenaghan, CELA CounselRichard Lindgren, CELA CounselOn-line:December 16, 2003 Media Release: CELA Applauds Planning Act Changes Ministry of Municipal Affairs proposed planning reformsMMA proposed Greenbelt Protection  Bill 27 2. Source Protection Planning: Committees Announced Today, Ontario Environment Minister Leona Dombrowsky announced the formation of two essential source protection committees – covering technical and implementation issues respectively. CELA counsel Theresa McClenaghan will be sitting on the province’s source protection implementation committee. Ms McClenaghan will continue her work on the Nutrient Management Advisory Committee, with an eye towards integrating both processes. Likewise, CELA will strongly advocate for integrating drinking water source protection measures in this week’s proposed amendments to Ontario’s Planning Act.For more information: Theresa McClenaghan, CELA Counsel (see contact information below)On-line: December 18, 2003 Media Release:CELA Appointed to Source Protection Committee Protecting Ontario’s Drinking Water – Source Protection Planning. Q’s and A’s and an Implementation Check ListMinistry of Environment Information on Committee Members  3. Ontario Moves to Protect Water and Stop Giving it AwayIn another welcome move, CELA applauds today’s announcement by Ontario Environment Minister Leona Dombrowsky to place a one-year moratorium on most new and expanded water-taking permits. Ontario will also finally begin to charge for the removal of water from watersheds. The moratorium will enable time to develop new water-taking rules. CELA will be calling for integration of all water protection and land use planning reforms to accomplish drinking water source protection.For more information: (see staff contact information below)Theresa McClenaghan, CELA Counsel Ramani Nadarajah, CELA Counsel On-line:December 18, 2003 Media Release: Ontario Moves to Protect Water and Stop Giving it AwayMinistry of Environment Media Release and related information4. January 17th Water Workshop – ReminderThe next water workshop (in a series of six across Ontario) will be held on January 17th at the Kingbridge Conference Centre in King City. CELA and Great Lakes United are co-sponsoring a series of workshops with community partners throughout Ontario. The January workshop is co-sponsored by the Save the Oak Ridges Moraine (STORM) Coalition. Participants will explore the questions and challenges remaining from the events in Walkerton and address how Ontario can ensure the permanent protection of drinking water supplies.The workshop is free of charge but space is limited. Please RSVP by January 7, 2004 to: Anna Tilman of STORM At: 905-841-0095 or annatilman (at) sympatico.ca5. CELA in 2003 – HighlightsIt has been a good year. The staff and Board of Directors at CELA extend season’s greetings to all our friends, colleagues, and fans. Looking back at 2003, we celebrate some milestones. Thanks to CELA (and often in collaboration with many valued colleagues):The year began with a new Safe Drinking Water Act in Ontario and now closes with excellent progress towards completion of the Walkerton Inquiry recommendations for drinking water source protection. Equally important progress is being made towards land use planning reforms to curb sprawl and protect drinking water sources and natural heritage.Toronto passed a by-law banning the unnecessary use of pesticides, exercising leadership in Canada and across North America. CELA intervened in the unsuccessful legal challenge by the pesticide industry to quash the by-law.CELA's clients won an important judicial review application regarding Ontario's amended Environmental Assessment Act. In June, the Ontario Divisional Court ruled that the Minister of Environment has no jurisdiction to exclude key environmental planning issues - such as "need" and alternatives - from EA planning processes under the Act. An appeal is pending. In another judicial review, CELA is challenging Tory Environment Minister Chris Stockwell's decision to overrule a decision of Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal. Stockwell reversed the Tribunal decision and reinstated a "phased permit" to OMYA (Canada) Inc. to increase the company’s water taking from the Tay River to 4,500 cubic meters per day. CELA is arguing that the Minister had no legal jurisdiction to issue the "phased permit," and that he circumvented legal obligations under the Environmental Bill of Rights to provide for public notice and comment. The matter is still before the courts.The www.pollutionwatch.org website was rebuilt and re-launched. With health and child-care partners, CELA helped build and launch the website of the Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health and Environment www.healthyenvironmentforkids.ca. Watch for CELA’s redesigned (and finally, searchable) website in the new year.6. Reminder Notice to CELA Members and Subscribers to IntervenorAs previously noted in this Bulletin, CELA did not publish its newsletter, the Intervenor, during 2003 and has decided to permanently discontinue publishing on a quarterly basis. In 2004 the Intervenor will become a single, annual publication, providing a review of CELA’s activities and will serve as CELA’s Annual Report. As noted to members and subscribers, via regular mail, CELA is prepared to refund any outstanding amounts owed to subscribers for the issues of Intervenor not published during 2003. For more information: Fe de Leon (see contact info below)7. Staff contact information: see Contact Us page on this site