By Peter Wynnyczuk – Ontario Representative

Some of the past events and future programs are:

    • Being in a province highlighting the extent of the government deficit, there have been impacts in several provincial ministries going through both organizational and financial adjustments. As a result, there has been legislative changes with a focus on more “open-for-business” themes which has had impacts/revisions on previous environmental policies and regulations. These changes are being felt by municipalities and conservation authorities as they learn how to address the prescribed changes through budgetary and structural methods.
    • The Ontario Urban Forest Council (OUFC) and Trees Ontario were part of a tree dedication celebration for a magnificent red oak on Coral Gables Drive in Toronto. The oak has had significant attention over the last number of years due to its connection with the Carrying Place Trail, an important trade route connecting Lake Ontario to Georgian Bay and beyond. OUFC Advisor Edith George and the celebration team brought many members of the community together with a poster contest in conjunction with the plaque dedication. The further intent is to get provincial and federal plaques recognizing this amazing tree.
    • The OUFC has been working with community groups and municipalities in helping them better understand the legislation available to them in addressing trees in their communities, whether under the Planning Act, the Municipal Act or other applicable acts.
    • On November 14th, OUFC, in collaboration with the Canadian Urban Forest Network under Tree Canada, will be holding a joint conference at the Heintzman House in Markham under the theme of “Making Cities Resilient“. Registration is now open. We look forward to a diverse group of participants to discuss issues related to the urban forest and opportunities to help retain and improve it in our climate-changing times.
    • Emerald ash borer is continuing to spread within the Canadian Food Inspection Agency quarantine area, which covers most of the natural habitat of ash trees in Ontario. As we have had a municipal election last fall, it appears many new councillors are not aware of the impacts of this devastating insect in our natural range of ash species. The OUFC will continue to advise municipalities of this insect and its consequences.