Jeff Burch MPP, Niagara Centre

Government of Ontario

Niagara Escarpment environmental protections must be upheld: NDP

Published on December 1, 2022

NIAGARA – The NDP’s Niagara area MPPs are calling on the Ford government to provide the funding and oversight needed to uphold environmental protections of the Niagara Escarpment.

Their call comes after the Auditor General’s 2022 Report found that the Niagara Escarpment has been virtually stripped of environmental protections, leaving it vulnerable to harmful development that have been ongoing quietly for years.

“The Niagara Escarpment is a unique and vital landmark running right through the heart of southwestern Ontario,” said Jennie Stevens, MPP for St. Catharine's. “Our communities rely on this conservation area for recreation, green space, and local wildlife protections. Yesterday’s report revealed that there is effectively no protection for any of this land anymore, and no consequences to building on the Escarpment against the rules.”

Almost all development permits on the Niagara Escarpment have been approved in the last five years, with several going directly against the Niagara Escarpment Plan, the Auditor General’s report found.

“We’ve seen Mr. Ford break his promise and announce his plan to bulldoze the Greenbelt, and we know this means green space across the province is now at risk,” said Wayne Gates, MPP for Niagara Falls. “We are already seeing the consequences of Mr. Ford quietly taking funding away from the Niagara Escarpment.”

The Auditor General’s report found that there is currently no environmental monitoring of the Niagara Escarpment. When the specialist responsible for environmental monitoring left their post in 2015, the position was never filled, leaving the land vulnerable to exploitation with no oversight.

“We can’t just let Mr. Ford take protections away from the Niagara Escarpment,” said Jeff Burch, MPP for Niagara Centre. “This unique landmark provides untold benefit to the surrounding land and our communities. The Niagara NDP MPPs are committed to pushing for the funding and oversight required to protect the Niagara Escarpment.”