Kitchener-Waterloo

Ontario's Green party leader to table first bill ever and it's on water protection

Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner will table his first private member's bill Wednesday to protect the Paris Galt Moraine, a source of drinking water for his riding of Guelph.

If passed, bill will protect the Paris Galt Moraine

On Wednesday, Guelph MPP and Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner will introduce his first private member's bill. (CBC)

Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner will table his first ever private member's bill Wednesday. In it, he asks the province to protect a drinking water source for Guelph, Wellington county and Waterloo region.

It's the first bill introduced by the party in the provincial legislature.

"For decades the people of Guelph have shown the province how to responsibly use water and what it means to defend water against private interests. Now, climate change and sprawl are putting even more strain on our water supply, so we must take action to protect what's left," Schreiner said in a release prior to tabling the bill Wednesday.

Schreiner's bill is called the Paris Galt Moraine Conservation Act. The Paris Galt Moraine provides groundwater for drinking water for Schreiner's riding of Guelph, as well as for Wellington county, Brant County, Waterloo region, Dufferin County and Simcoe county.

Water advocates fill Queen's Park

The bill is similar to the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, which protects a drinking water source for the city of Toronto. That was brought in by a Progressive Conservative government in 2001.

Schreiner noted the bill comes after the government's Bill 66, which critics have said threatens protection for groundwater resources.

The advocacy group Wellington Water Watchers applauded Schreiner's private member's bill. The group bused supporters to Queen's Park for the announcement.

Arlene Slocombe, executive director of Wellington Water Watchers, said in a release that they "stand in support for this bill."

"Increasingly over the past years, this has region faced water restrictions, and it is becoming more evident that the need to protect the features that ensure adequate groundwater into the future are put in place now," Slocombe said.

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