Tag Archives: #Environment

CKMS News -2023-10-27- Delegates tell council to reaffirm the Regional Official Plan in response to Ford’s policy reversal.

CKMS News 2023-10-27-Reaffirming The Regional Plan

by: dan kellar

During presentations on October 25th to Waterloo Regional Council, 2 delegates asked the council to respond to the Ontario government’s reversal of the forced expansion of the region’s urban boundaries by reaffirming their commitment to the 2022 Regional Official Plan and by informing the Government that no changes will be identified.  

In today’s show, we hear excerpts from the delegations of Sam Nabi, the director of  Hold the Line Waterloo Region, and Kevin Thomason of the Grand River Environmental Network to the regional council, along with responses from councilors Rob Deutschmann and Dorothy McCabe. 

These delegations were in response to the October 23rd announcement from the  Ontario minister of municipal affairs and housing, Paul Calandra, that affected municipalities had 45 days to respond to his government’s policy reversal.

Before we get into those presentations, here is a bit of background on the situation.

On October 23rd Ontario’s minister of municipal affairs and housing Paul Calandra announced the reversal of his government’s plans which would have forced the extension of the urban boundaries of 12 Ontario municipalities.  In the case of Waterloo Region, this reversal could be accompanied by a return to the 2022 Regional Official Plan which was the product of an extensive public consultation and negotiation. 

This recent flip-flop by the PC government, follows the reversal of the Greenbelt development plans which received widespread condemnation, was the catalyst of province-wide protests, and is also the focus of an RCMP investigation.  

In April 2023, Ford’s Progressive Conservative government upended the plans of many municipalities by overturning their urban boundary and development plans, forcing municipalities to start new processes to approve previously protected land, for new urban sprawl. 

At the time of the original upending of the region’s official plan, local grassroots organisation Hold the Line WR were adamant the Region needed to fight back against the conservative government’s plans. Now, Sam Nabi, the director of the group, and Kevin Thomason of GREN are asking the regional council to reaffirm their commitment to the 2022 Regional Official Plan and to tell Minister Calandra, within his 45 day limit, that there will be no changes identified.


Requiem for the ash tree

By MP Holmes

Ash trees might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about climate change, but since the arrival of an invasive beetle, untold environmental and economic damage has led to the species to the edge of extinction. CKMS News talked to Josh Shea, the manager of Forestry and Natural Area Management at the city of Kitchener to find out what is happening to the ash tree generally and the  city of Kitchener’s approach to the infestation. 

In less than 15 years, the invasive emerald ash borer, has destroyed the ash trees in Kitchener, Waterloo Region, much of Ontario, including as far north as Sudbury, and in 36 US states. This tiny beetle has become a major environmental and economic problem. In a bid to control and starve out the emerald ash borer, the city of Kitchener has removed more than 5,000 trees from city streets and parks. There are about 600 ash trees remaining, some of which are alive, but all will be removed within the next few years. The Grand River Conservation Authority’s website reports that they have removed over 16,000 ash trees at the cost of three million dollars. 

Economic estimates keep growing as the beetle and the trouble it presents become clearer. In 2014, the city of Kitchener estimated dealing with the damage and making the city borer-free would cost $11 million. In July 2019, the Invasive Species Centre found that, on average, Ontario municipalities spend approximately $22,426,763 million each year combating the emerald ash borer alone. 

The conversation touches on the use and role of pesticides, the role of winter and the impact of milder less severe winters in the life cycle of the emerald ash borer. While municipalities fight this small beetle, the province under Doug Ford’s government, has done little to combat this invasive species, putting our forests, economic health, and our municipalities at risk. 


The music on today’s show is called “Maple Music” by Godmode courtesy of by Expectantly Maple Music on YouTube. 

This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, Heritage Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.

Check out the archived versions of  this program on radiowaterloo.ca/news., and listen to all the LJI content at canada-info.ca.

If you want to get in touch with comments, or ideas about stories to cover, email us at news@radiowaterloo.ca