BICA GBA Report
By Liz Philips
GBA has been working as hard as ever to protect the Bay we love, on many, many fronts. Some of the issues that are closest to the heart of the Bay of Islands include:
- Floating cottages
- GBA provided input to the Ontario government about issues related to floating cottages, and drafted wording to help GBA associations add their voices to the mix.
- Coastal protection
- As development pressures increase all over cottage country, it is becoming increasingly important for municipalities in ecologically sensitive areas like Georgian Bay to work together to take a unified approach. The GBA Coastal Protection Committee has brought together representatives from 5 of the GBA area municipalities, including NEMI, to review their planning regulations. The objective is to facilitate the sharing of best practices when it comes to planning and development along the eastern and northern Georgian Bay coast.
- Look out for a couple of useful guides to be published by GBA in the coming months:
- A planning policies and regulations guide will provide practical information about navigating planning rules, applications and enforcement
- A septic management and maintenance guide will review the septic options available, along with how to maintain your existing septic system to ensure our Bay waters stay clean
- Water levels
- GBA continues to monitor this ongoing issue – you may have attended one of the 3 webinars GBA hosted in fall 2021 about the many issues related to water levels that can arise.
- Water quality
- The dock foam regulations bill was passed in 2021 and the legislation is in the process of being written – GBA is working to ensure the legislation is robust enough to be enforceable. Perhaps our grandchildren will be spared having to clean up drifting blue styrofoam from the shores of our Bay!
- The washing machine filters bill has been through a second reading, so GBA continues to put pressure on the government to ensure that in the future all washing machines will be equipped with filters to prevent plastic microfibres from entering our water systems.
- First Nations and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK)
- GBA is exploring how TEK can be better integrated into GBA actions to ensure decisions are made with consideration of all stakeholders.
- Discussions about the Wiikwemkoong boundary claim have been on hold, but GBA continues to connect with Wiikwemkoong leaders.
- Recent changes to the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act require all not-for-profit organizations to make certain changes to their governance documents. GBA organized a workshop to help GBA associations navigate this process, as it can be complex and not all boards have the capacity/knowledge to address this. Some of the BICA board members attended and BICA will continue to be supported by GBA as needed as we make changes to our documents.