Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

New Report – Aggregate Extraction in Ontario: A Strategy for the Future

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

CIELAP’s new report Aggregate Extraction in Ontario: A Strategy for the Future assesses key issues and makes recommendations that Ontario should address in a long-term management strategy for the extraction of aggregates (sand, gravel and stone). In 2007, Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) told the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario that it was committed to contributing to such a strategy.

Substantial population growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region of Ontario over the next two decades is expected to raise the demand for aggregates. Ontario has traditionally relied heavily on aggregates extracted from pits and quarries located close to where they are used in order to minimize transportation costs. However, urban growth and new restrictions on where new pits and quarries can be located (including the Oak Ridges Moraine and Greenbelt plans) have made the approval of new operations increasingly challenging. Proposals for new pits and quarries are often met with public resistance.

CIELAP’s report, authored by Matt Binstock and Maureen Carter-Whitney, contains a number of recommendations on various aspects of aggregate resource management, from compliance issues to transportation. Highlights include:

• The need for MNR to hire additional field inspectors to enforce the Aggregate Resources Act. There is a current lack of adequate staff capacity dating back to staff cuts in the mid-1990s.

• The need to tighten requirements for the rehabilitation of former pits and quarries, and consider changes in how rehabilitation is funded.

• The need to increase the use of alternatives to aggregate in construction, such as recycled concrete and industrial by-products.

• The need for more detailed data on how aggregates are transported and used to help decision-makers ensure the use of better practices and more effective demand management in the future.

Download Aggregate Extraction in Ontario: A Strategy for the Future.

New – CIELAP’s Online Guide to Brownfield Redevelopment

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

CIELAP has released its Online Guide to Brownfield Redevelopment

  • What are brownfields?
  • What are the benefits of brownfield redevelopment?
  • What are the risks to developing brownfields?
  • What are the barriers to developing brownfields?
  • What can be done with brownfield sites?
  • How is brownfield remediation regulated in Ontario?
  • How can members of the public get involved in local brownfield redevelopments?
  • How can I learn more about brownfield redevelopment?

Get your questions answered. Go to

Canadian NGO Aspirations for the upcoming UN Commission for Sustainable Development

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

In preparation for the upcoming UN Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD), a number of Canadian NGOs have collaborated on a report which lists their aspirations for Canada during the upcoming CSD 18-19. The full report can be accessed here:

Have a suggestion for or commentary on the report? Leave us a comment!

Joint Statement on Ontario’s ‘From Waste to Worth

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

This document represents a joint statement issued by CIELAP in conjunction with a number of groups which lists the principles we support as a Response to the
Government of Ontario’s Consultation on Waste Diversion – Waste to Worth

New CIELAP Research

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

CIELAP Policy Researcher Matt Binstock authored this report as a summary of the learning outcomes from his Water Policy Fellowship with the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation. The report provides an overview of water management policies and practices in the city of Guelph, Ontario, within the broader context of growth pressures on water resources in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Region of Ontario, recent research on water demand management, soft path planning and public opinion polling on water issues.

You can access the full report here:

CIELAP’s Draft Strategic Directions – Seeking Your Input

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

CIELAP’s Board of Directors has approved new draft strategic directions aimed at strengthening our public policy voice and enhancing our financial sustainability.  We’re now inviting you to give your input.  Please read more below, download and review our draft Strategic Plan and give your insights by October 16.

As a taste, here are some of our proposed new directions:

CIELAP will build on its proven research expertise by continuing to research emerging and neglected issues.  Our fields of research will be refined to:

  • Climate Change Adaptation in water and agriculture
  • Food Sustainability
  • Water Conservation
  • Sustainable Land Use
  • EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility)
  • Governance for Sustainability
  • Sustainability Strategies (Agenda 21s and Local Agenda 21s)

CIELAP is also going to develop three new Signature Programmes:

  1. University Clubs, piloted at York University and the University of Toronto
  2. an annual Research Report Card (i.e. population growth and connexions to unsustainability)
  3. piloting an annual Sustainability Solutions Forum building on CIELAP’s successful series of “Partnering for Sustainability” conferences

CIELAP will continue to engage a diversity of voices in its research and policy development.  This will include actively solidifying and expanding our research partnerships to better include: academics, corporations, youth, health NGOs, national and regional ENGOs, faith groups, unions / labour groups, indigenous communities, social justice groups, and international partners.

We also plan to experiment with more participatory approaches to research and policy development, which are increasingly seen as essential tools toward achieving more sustainable societies. And one of the first places we will use this new participatory approach is right here with you….

How you can engage:

!) Understand the context. It is becoming increasingly clear that environmental solutions are directly inter-linked to social and economic considerations.  We encourage you to apply Systems Thinking and consider that the natural environment works quite well on its own.  This suggests that environmental concerns may be better addressed if we actively identify those places where the natural environment intersects with the mix of human social and economic concerns.  Ideally, society will create public policies that pro-actively address these places of environmental / social / economic intersection rather than reacting once environmental challenges emerge.

2) Read our new Draft Strategic Plan for 2009 to 2012.

3) Take a day or two to reflect on the ideas.

4) Provide your thoughtful review, critique, analysis, observations and/or comments on the draft Plan in the comments section below OR send them to  Please send your feedback by Friday October 16th.

We will review everything that you submit and we will use your insights to re-craft and re-define our final Strategic Plan for 2009-2012.  The final Plan will be posted online at

Thanks for your ongoing support for our efforts to provide objective, thorough, and evidence-based research that informs public policy and policy decision-makers.


Thomas Esakin, CIELAP Executive Director

Considerations for your participation.

  • Provide macro- (higher- / big-picture-) level critiques / analysis rather than micro- (lower- / small-picture-) level comments.  Please give us your insights about how CIELAP can strengthen its public policy role and move in a direction where we can see the strongest positive impacts in Canada and around the world.
  • Reference what sections and subsections of the draft Strategic Plan you are referring to.
  • Please provide your name and affiliation if you are comfortable doing so.
  • We reserve the right to remove any comments that are considered offensive.