Submitted by Climate Action Muskoka (CAM), Almaguin Climate Action (ACA), and Climate Action Parry Sound (CAPS)
Climate groups in Parry Sound Muskoka had an opportunity to sit down face to face with MPP Graydon Smith, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, , on January 19 following an unsuccessful attempt to do so in December. The meeting was cordial and covered a wide range of issues related to Bill 23 and its climate implications.
The four representatives from Climate Action Muskoka (CAM), Almaguin Climate Action (ACA), and Climate Action Parry Sound (CAPS) reminded the Minister, that they represent constituents from all over the riding. They raised concerns about Bill 23’s impact on delivery of municipal Climate Action Plans; the importance of “protecting what protects us” through preservation of wetland systems, forest ecosystems, natural infrastructure; and the importance of shoreline site control protections to the future of our lakes and our drinking water.
They spoke about food security and the Greenbelt “offset”; the inadequacy of the “80% of market value” equation to determine “affordability”; and the appalling climate and economic choice of expanding gas plants and infrastructure in the riding and across Ontario.
The group also left Smith with a list of questions to which they have requested answers; and a list of solutions which will address the housing crisis and the climate crisis together, without reverting to urban and rural sprawl and highways.
Smith heard the group out and said he would take the concerns back to Queen’s Park for discussion by the Caucus and suggested a future meeting with the climate groups.