May 17, 2023

By Jane Brown

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Deforestation, contaminated air, polluted water and the loss of wetlands are a growing concern in this province.

This conclusion has been offered by Ontario’s auditor general in a “state of the environment report”.

Bonnie Lysysk also says the Doug Ford government is not providing clear and transparent information on how its policy decisions are affecting the environment.

The AG also pointed out the province’s environment has improved in many areas over the last several decades including Ontario’s air quality.

But Lysyk and the province’s commissioner of the environment also flagged numerous concerns in the report.

These include ground level ozone, which can trigger asthma and other breathing issues, which increased by 23 percent between 1990 and 2019.

Environment Minister David Piccini responded to the report by saying he’s proud of his government’s track record when it comes to protected areas.

Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner says he’s worried about the loss of wetlands and forests and not protecting swaths of land as previously promised.

“When you’re seeing an increasing severity and frequency of extreme weather events, we need to be expanding wetlands and expanding protected areas instead of losing them,” he said.

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