The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry released the finalized version of the wetlands conservation policy titled, “A Wetland Conservation Strategy for Ontario 2017 – 2030” on July 20, 2017. The strategy lists 27 different policy instruments (statutes, policies, plans) that guide wetland conservation and management in Ontario.
OFA has been actively working with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry on the development of an Ontario wetlands conservation policy and provided comments during the open consultation period emphasizing that agricultural lands are a valuable, finite and shrinking resource. OFA continues to remind the government not to confuse terms like wetland (swamps, marshes, bogs and ferns) with wet land (lands that are slow to dry up after heavy rains or quick spring melt).
OFA does not believe fully functioning wetlands can be created and restored in replacement of wetlands already lost to urban development and expansion. Wetland restoration and compensation for wetland losses must not come at the expense of agricultural land.