Cli­mate change af­fects our ravines

Kristyn Wong-Tam Ward 27 Coun­cil­lor

Village Post - - News -

Cli­mate change is hav­ing a pro­found im­pact here in Toronto as well as around the world.

Sig­nif­i­cant dam­age to the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment is hap­pen­ing right in our own back­yards. Some of the neg­a­tive im­pacts have been par­tially caused by hu­man ac­tiv­ity such as un­con­trolled storm wa­ter dis­charge and poor main­te­nance.

How­ever, more of­ten now, ex­treme weather con­di­tions, such as flash floods and heavy rains, are caus­ing ac­cel­er­at­ing soil ero­sion in the Moore Park and Rosedale ravines. The dramatic de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of Mud Creek and Yel­low Creek are fur­ther­ing the degra­da­tion of aquatic habi­tat.

This month Toronto City Coun­cil’s cli­mate change plan, Trans­for­mTO, was unan­i­mously ap­proved. Yet zero dol­lars have been com­mit­ted to the ac­tual im­ple­men­ta­tion. The 23 strate­gies con­tained in the plan must be im­ple­mented en­tirely to achieve an 80 per cent re­duc­tion in green­house gas emis­sions by 2050. It is a re­port with 23 in­ter­de­pen­dent strate­gies that, when im­ple­mented to­gether, will get us to our 2050 goal.

Also due out in Septem­ber will be the long-awaited Toronto Ravine Strat­egy. It cre­ates a vision for Toronto’s ravine sys­tem with a set of prin­ci­ples to guide plan­ning and pri­or­i­ties for in­vest­ments.

As with Trans­for­mTO, it’s es­sen­tial that the ravine strat­egy be adopted not just in prin­ci­ple only, but with a full com­mit­ment to fund the plan in the 2018 bud­get. City coun­cil must be re­minded that sym­bolic ges­tures of adopt­ing cli­mate-pos­i­tive and ravine strate­gies with­out real in­vest­ments ren­der them ul­ti­mately worth­less.

The Vale of Avoca is suf­fer­ing from sig­nif­i­cant ero­sion

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