Canada continues investing to protect nature and freshwater in Ontario
March 1, 2023 – Toronto, Ontario
Nature is not only part of who we are as Canadians, it’s key to building a strong, healthy future for generations to come. Already, the Government of Canada has protected a historic amount of land and water across the country, conserving the spaces that matter to Canadians, protecting species, and fighting climate change. Today, the Government is investing to continue protecting nature in Ontario.
Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, announced over $11.7 million to support the Ontario Land Trust Alliance to conserve wetlands, grasslands and forests that are currently under threat. Spanning much of the province, the projects will protect from conversion up to 6000 hectares. The projects will also restore another 300 hectares of habitat that supports 60 species at risk, including the Kirtland’s Warbler. In addition to protecting species at risk and important ecosystems in people’s neighbourhoods, these projects will help keep our air clean and fight climate change, by capturing and storing carbon.
Today, Minister Guilbeault also announced over $850,000 to support several projects with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority focused on the Great Lakes restoration. These projects will improve freshwater quality and aquatic habitat throughout surrounding communities. For example, one project, funded through the Great Lakes Protection Initiative will protect and restore aquatic habitat in the Toronto and Region Area of Concern. Another project, funded by the EcoAction Community Funding Program, will improve water quality and quantity, and ecosystem health in the four urban neighbourhoods of Rexdale, Bramalea, the Pocket and Thornhill.
Protecting nature is win-win—it safeguards the places and species that are part of who we are as Canadians, and it helps us fight climate change. With today’s announcement, the Government is continuing to deliver a strong, healthy future for Canadians.
“Canada—and Ontario—matter in the global fight to conserve and protect biodiversity. Our country is home to 24 percent of the world’s wetlands, 25 percent of temperate rainforest areas, and 28 percent of remaining boreal forests. These ecosystems are globally significant as they absorb carbon, mitigate against the impacts of climate change, and protect biodiversity. Since Canada welcomed the world to Montréal for COP15, where the ambitious Global Biodiversity Framework was signed, there is a global consensus that we must buckle down to protect our most ecologically sensitive land and water. Ontario’s contribution is vital if we are to conserve, restore, and enhance these life-giving ecosystems and increase their resilience.”
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“The Ontario Land Trust Alliance is very grateful for the leadership shown by the Government of Canada in supporting ambitious, collaborative projects like these to conserve and restore biodiverse and carbon-rich ecosystems across Ontario. Support for community land conservation also provides significant positive co-benefits for highly sensitive, highly biodiverse, threatened habitats and ecosystems in Ontario, while also contributing to Canada’s climate change objectives.”
– Alison Howson, Executive Director, Ontario Land Trust Alliance.
“By investing in the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s nature-based solutions, freshwater, and wetlands projects, we will make a measurable difference in protecting productive ecosystems and providing vital natural solutions to combat climate change. We are grateful to the Honourable Steven Guilbeault and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change for their commitment to furthering progress toward strengthening the health and quality of the ecosystems in our communities.”
– John MacKenzie, Chief Executive Officer, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
The Government of Canada has committed to invest $4.8 billion over 10 years (2021–2031) in the Natural Climate Solutions Fund, including $1.4 billion in the Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund.
- These projects will help Canada meets its target to reduce five to seven megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually by 2030, using nature-based solutions.
The Great Lakes Protection Initiative supports action by others to:
- restore the water quality and ecosystem health of Areas of Concern
- prevent toxic and nuisance algae
- reduce releases of harmful chemicals
- engage Indigenous peoples in addressing Great Lakes issues
- increase public engagement through citizen science
The EcoAction Program provides financial support to non-profit and non-government organizations for local action-based projects that achieve results to improve water quality and protect freshwater in Canada.
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)
Ontario Land Trust Alliance
Communications and Media Relations Specialist
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
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