Advocacy in Action

Category: News
on 14 March 2018

At BurlingtonGreen, we want YOU to have your say when it comes to important environmental issues in Burlington. We are always seeking support for a number of different advocacy initiatives, which is why we have created this page to act as a 'one-stop' for all up-to-date advocacy-related information and calls to action to help you get involved and stay informed.

Here are some of the issues we are working on.....

1. Have your Say! Engage with the City on Burlington's proposed new Official Plan. Council will soon be voting on the City’s Official Plan. We are disappointed that Council did not agree to our ask to pass a motion that ensures complementary plans are updated before the close of 2019. We feel these plans are essential to the success of the Official Plan and to the health of the environment. We recently met with Mary Lou Tanner, Deputy City Manager, and are encouraged by the conversation we had and the need for a Climate Change Strategy at City Hall. BurlingtonGreen has provided input at various stages of public consultation and voiced concern about green space protection policies in the proposed Official Plan.

We also delegated to Council on February 27 on the importance of integrated policies that advance the development of smart and complete communities. Click here for our delegation presentation, and here for our address to Council.

2. Support the Tyandaga Environmental Coalition (TEC) in their efforts to protect the forest in the Aldershot Community. As we earlier shared, BurlingtonGreen has been supporting the Tyandaga Environmental Coalition (TEC) in their efforts to protect the significant forest and home to local wildlife, including identified endangered species. We called on the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario to review this important issue, taking into account the latest environmental standards and policies, ensuring environmental rights and community health are safeguarded.

On April 6th, we received the following decision from the MNRF (Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry): After considering the application in accordance with Part IV of the EBR, MNRF has determined that the public interest does not warrant a review in the Ministry of the matters raised in the application. You can review the full response here.

We are very disappointed with this outcome particularly given the other recently released report from Conservation Halton that indicates the state of Burlington’s forest canopy is poor. The report grades are based on the percentage of forest cover among other things, and most grades awarded in Halton were D (poor). This raises an alarm on the state of our forests, especially within the urban landscape.

With increasing implications of climate change and biodiversity loss locally and globally, we need to work together to advance creative solutions more than ever before, turning challenges into opportunities. BurlingtonGreen will continue to collaborate with members of TEC to protect the estimated 9,000 trees slated to come down, and preserve this important wildlife habitat.

Sign TEC’s petition here to ensure environmental rights and community health are safeguarded.

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3.  Protect the Trumpeter Swans Habitat.  It seems victory is in sight on preserving the Trumpeter Swan habitat at Lasalle Park. City Staff are bringing a report to Council on Thursday, May 10 at 1 p.m. in Council Chambers that will ask Council if the City wants to continue to provide marina services at Lasalle Park. If it doesn’t, staff will assist in relocating the Lasalle Park Marina Association members moorage to Hamilton or other marinas. If it does, then staff recommends the city build a floating breakwall at the cost of about $4 million.  The promising thing is there is no option in the recommendations about building a permanent $14 million breakwall or about expanding the marina. We hope Council votes favourably on May 10. Please attend the Council meeting if you can and show your support for protecting the habitat of the Trumpeter swans. You can read Staff’s report here.

4. Stand tall! The proposed Private Tree Bylaw Pilot was deferred again. BurlingtonGreen has long advocated for a private tree bylaw in Burlington that provides a balance between allowing for the reasonable use and enjoyment of private property while addressing public and environmental concerns about tree cutting and the need to protect trees citywide. We are still chipping away at trying to convince Burlington's Councillors to get on the right side of tree protection for our City. Many of our neighbouring and province-wide communities have had established tree protection policies and laws in place for years, and it's long overdue that we follow suit. We will continue to speak up sharing our solution-focused voice on this important issue and hope that YOU will too.

Tell the Mayor and Councillors that you value Burlington's trees and support the establishment of a practical, effective private property tree bylaw for Burlington. Click here to connect with Council and have your say!                                                                                                                                                                        

5. Every Canadian deserves the right to a healthy environment.
Learn more about how the Blue Dot movement is shaping the way Canadians think about environmental rights, and sign the pledge today, asking all levels of government to recognize our right to breathe fresh air, drink clean water and eat healthy food.

6. Help preserve green space in Burlington! Sign the petition.
We are closely following the Waterfront Hotel redevelopment, advocating for redevelopment that incorporates sustainable design principles, ensuring that surrounding eco-systems are not threatened. A Burlington citizens’ group called Plan B has formed to not only voice its concerns over the redevelopment, but to also share its vision for an alternative proposal.

If there is a local environmental issue that concerns you that requires immediate attention, please let us know. Or, if you are someone with an interest in environmental issues who likes to follow local politics, we can use your help and invite you to learn more about our volunteer Advocacy Team here.

Learn more about our advocacy program by visiting our Greenprint for the Future and Advocacy pages.

Together we make a difference for a more sustainable future.