OEN Environmental News
March 2020
(Credit: Nick Donnelly)
In this edition read about news, group events, action alerts, EBR notices, plus a spotlight on CONE.

President’s Message

Highlights of the AGM and the new OEN Year

The recent Annual General Meeting held on February 22 was busy. Although we missed Leslie Adams and her always fulsome President’s Report, and we send our best wishes for her recovery, we did manage a fair bit of progress. Key items included:

  • We received the treasurer’s report showing an increase from $11,506.41 at the end of fiscal 2018 to $16,167.18 at the end of March 2019;
  • We approved an updated Bylaw, with particular amendments regarding the Board (Steering Committee) and the Executive Committee; and,
  • We approved a motion to route membership renewals to the website, where members can update all their own information to ensure accuracy, and to stop accepting membership payments by cheque.

Following the meeting and a subsequent meeting of the Board, the members of the Board, with Executive Committee members as shown in brackets, are:       

Finally, the Board is contemplating instituting a regular OEN webinar so that members can get or provide updates on issues of interest to them, and to hopefully facilitate improved Caucus activity. As we think about the best way to do this, please let us know your thoughts via



  • Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks (“MECP”) filed the On-Site and Excess Soil Management Regulation and complementary amendments to Ontario’s Records of Site Condition (O Reg 153/04) and Waste Management (Reg 347 and O Reg 351/12) regulations. Click here to read the full article.
  • Smart Great Lakes Initiative, part of the new Great Lakes Observing System Strategic Plan 2020-2025, is about connecting people to the information they need through the use of technology and advanced data collection. More info here
  • A video featuring actions, challenges and lessons learned in protecting species at risk and their habitat in the construction of the Rt. Hon. Herb Gray Parkway.
  • A motion passed by the city council of Cornwall calls for municipalities to be legally protected if the province makes a decision that could negatively impact water quality. Read more
  • The North American Land Change Monitoring System (NALCMS), a tri-national initiative coordinated by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), has released a new map depicting land cover across North America for the year 2015 at a 30-metre spatial resolution. To view and download the map at no cost, click here.
  • To achieve net-zero, all new homes in Greater Sudbury will be Passive Homes by 2030
  • 4R Nutrient Stewardship advocates for sustainable nutrient management. It has several benefits for farmers, click here for more info
  • The Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks has issued a new direction letter to RPRA clarifying how MHSW residual funds should be managed once the program winds up on June 30, 2021. The Minister's direction letter clarifies that all residual funds remaining once the program ceases operating and all financial obligations have been accounted for should be returned to stewards. This applies to stewards managed by Stewardship Ontario, and those managed through industry stewardship plans.
  • RPRA has approved Stewardship Ontario's Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW) program Wind Up Plan. RPRA's approval comes with the following conditions. Information about the new program that will replace the current MHSW program will be posted on RPRA's website as it becomes available. 
  • The Youth Innovation Challenge is now open and submissions are due by 31 March 2020. The challenge is open to participants aged 18–30 who are residents of Canada, Mexico or the United States. Solutions can be submitted in English, French or Spanish and will be evaluated based on four criteria: impact, innovation, feasibility/replicability, and economic value. Read our criteria and guidelines and submit your solution via Submittable
  • On Thursday, Jan. 30 the Government of Canada released a Draft Science Assessment that supports the need for action to reduce plastics that end up in the environment and will be published on January 31, 2020, in Part I of the Canada Gazette for a 60-day public comment period. Public comments will inform the final science assessment.
  • GFL Environmental expected to relaunch multibillion-dollar IPO next week, click here for more info.
  • Reusable takeout box program launches in Toronto, click here for more info.
We are no longer sending renewal reminders for your membership or directory listing by mail - these will come by email to your inbox depending on when you joined. 
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Group Events

  • Canadian Council on Invasive Species is hosting Community Science Workshop Ottawa Conference and Event Centre - March 4, 2020, Register here
  • March 7: Bees in the City: Better Urban Beekeeping. Learn all about urban beekeeping from seasoned experts and enjoy a delicious vegetarian lunch. Get tickets
  • Pembina institute hosts a webinar about Lessons learned in municipal renewable energy projects on March 12, 2020, click here for more info
  • Tucker House will be hosting an eco-camp for children ages 6-13, from March 16-20, 2020, click here for more info
  • Plastic Oceans Foundation Canada (POFC) is hosting Run Against Plastic 2020 Canada’s largest clean-up in history, with various locations across Canada, click more info here
  • Registration now open for Ontario Environment and Cleantech Business and Policy Forum! April 21, 2020, register here
  • PITCH-IN Week 2020 is April 22nd to the 29th Register here
  • Registration is NOW OPEN for the 2020 Urban Organic Gardening Seminars, Saturdays in Ottawa, Register here
For more events from across Ontario visit our website. Got an event to share? Contact us today!

OEN Member Spotlight


CONE is a non-profit alliance of environmental groups, conservation organizations and concerned citizens and businesses founded in 1978 and dedicated to the protection of Ontario's Niagra Escarpment. CONE has been the leading non-governmental organization to champion the effective and responsible implementation of the Niagara Escarpment Plan (NEP) – the Ontario government’s land use plan that controls development on the Escarpment, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.

For more information, visit their website.
Species at Risk & ERB Decision Notices
Review of Progress Reports for 16 species have been published under the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA). The ESA provides protection for species at risk and helps to safeguard Ontario’s biodiversity.
Under the ESA, the government is required to conduct a review of progress towards the protection and recovery of species at risk. The review must be conducted no later than the time specified in the species’ government response statement (GRS), or not later than five years after the GRS is published if no time is specified.
The reports show that the province has made progress toward the protection and recovery of 16 of Ontario’s species at risk.
The 2019 Review of Progress includes an introduction chapter that is an overview of recent activities related to the protection and recovery of Ontario’s species at risk, and a series of reports that describe progress achieved for the individual species. The 2019 Review of Progress is now available online for these species:
  • American Columbo
  • Bird’s-foot Violet
  • Butternut
  • Common Hoptree
  • Cutlip Minnow
  • Dwarf Hackberry
  • Eastern Sand Darter
  • Hill’s Thistle
  • Lakeside Daisy
  • Northern Madtom
  • Piping Plover
  • Pitcher’s Thistle
  • Pugnose Shiner
  • Slender Bush-clover
  • Virginia Goat’s-rue
  • Willowleaf Aster
To view the 2019 Review of Progress, please visit
To view the Environmental Registry bulletin notice for the reports, please visit and enter 019-0918 in the search

Management Plan for the Crooked Stem Aster (Symphyotrichum prenanthoides) in Canada [Final version]:   

Recovery strategy for the Rusty-patched Bumble Bee (Bombus affinis) in Canada [Final version]:

Management Plan for the Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) in Canada [Final version]: ;
For more information on the Species at Risk Act, management plan documents, and species at risk, please visit the SAR Public Registry at
Newsletter Team: Brittany Donnelly, Nick Donnelly, Aleks Spasevski, Wendy Thomson
Copyright © 2020 Ontario Environment Network, All rights reserved.

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