09/07/2006

In an announcement yesterday, Environment Minister Laurel Broten committed to establishing a $7 million Bill 43 implementation fund for 2007/08 and to further sustainable funding once implementation costs are better understood.
Bill 43, the Clean Water Act, is the Government’s proposed source water protection legislation. The legislation is currently being considered by the Legislature’s Standing Committee on Social Policy. Yesterday’s announcement included a variety of proposed Government amendments to the Bill. 

AMO has been advocating for extensive amendments to Bill 43, including an amendment to provide a stable source of implementation funding for source water protection.

The announcement provides $5 million to support early action to protect land and water surrounding water wells and close to municipal water intakes, and $2 million to support local education and outreach related to source protection planning.

More importantly, the announcement included the following statement by the Minister: "This initial funding is only the first stage of our commitment to rural Ontario. As communities complete their source protection plans, we'll know better what the costs of implementation are and how to effectively direct sustainable future funding to address that."

AMO President Doug Reycraft met with Minister Broten last week to discuss Bill 43 implementation issues and other matters, including AMO’s advocacy for Extended Producer Responsibility and AMO’s proposal that the LCBO implement a deposit return system.

Please see the Ministry of the Environment announcement for further information on the funding and for other amendments to Bill 43 proposed by the Government.

AMO will review the proposed amendments in detail and will work with the Government of Ontario in an effort to ensure that Bill 43 implementation funding is provided in a way that meets the needs of Ontario’s municipalities.