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GBA'S Priority Actions

GBA Amplifies Your Voice

Since 1916, we have taken a leadership role, advocating to all levels of government and other stakeholders to protect and preserve this precious and fragile freshwater ecosystem on behalf of 18 water-based communities on the eastern and northern shores of Georgian Bay. We advocate on a broad range of issues as your watchful eye on the Bay. GBA works to  identify and address issues before they become problems. For an overview of some of the current, topical issues on our agenda, read GBA’s value proposition.


Act to prevent inappropriate development related precedents from impacting our ecology

GBA works with our local associations and the coastal municipalities to protect the environment from residential and commercial developments that could set precedents that could negatively impact all of Georgian Bay. GBA’s role includes: 

  • weighing in on individual planning applications when asked to do so, and where there is a threat of setting a negative precedent;
  • supporting improved planning bylaw enforcement; and
  • comparing the main features of the official plans and planning bylaws for municipalities along the eastern and northern coasts of Georgian Bay in order to identify best practice for planning and land use.

Learn More >>


Water Quality: Reducing Plastics Pollution and more

Microfibers and/or plastics in Georgian Bay and the Great Lakes are an ongoing concern because of their potential to negatively  impact the environment and human health, and the risk of their accumulation in our freshwater. Working with Georgian Bay Forever (GBF), GBA is advocating for two legislative changes to reduce plastics pollution:

  • Requesting that regulations be put in place to ban the use of unencapsulated dock foam, following the implementation of legislation enacted in May, 2021. Learn More >>
  • Supporting the enactment of an Ontario Bill that requires filters to be on washing machines, in order to significantly reduce the amount of microfibers/microplastics entering our waters. See:

In addition, there is ongoing work on the Great Lakes Ecoregion Network (GBA is a founding member) and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GBA is an Official Observer), see:

Learn More >>


Floating Homes

Since forming a strategy group with Gloucester Pool Cottage Association (GPCA) in early 2022 to address Floating Homes, the group has grown to over 40 cottage associations, 35 Mayors, and 5 MPs – with thousands of cottagers weighing in to help drive our collective advocacy efforts.

We aim  to build awareness of the need for appropriate regulation of floating homes, focussing on safety, environmental oversight, and licensing. 

Transport Canada’s designation of floating cottages as “vessels” is our major concern as it exempts them from adhering to building codes, municipal zoning regulations and taxation. In 2001, British Columbia declared that float homes are not vessels. We are asking Transport Canada to put in place the same policy in Ontario.

The Ontario government has been helpful with camping regulations, as has Parks Canada by  developing mooring regulations for Floating Homes beginning Spring 2024. In October, 2023, Transport Canada solicited comments via their “Let’s Talk: Long-term Anchoring” consultation.

Learn More >>


Trans Canada Energy (TCE) pumped electricity storage proposal at Meaford (the “Project”)

GBA started working with Save Georgian Bay (SGB) on this Project in Sept 2019 and we have been instrumental in persuading TCE to change the design of their project in order to minimize potential environmental impacts. And, more recently, causing the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and the Ontario Ministry of Energy (MoE) to delay their decision on the Project to July 31, 2024. The Project is on a very large scale, such that it could impact water quality throughout the Bay. 

Our aim is to ensure that GBA members have full, complete and accurate information on the Project, its potential environmental impacts, and how it stacks up financially for Ontario taxpayers against alternative energy storage methods. There have been, and will be, opportunities for GBA members and Georgian Bay communities to make informed decisions on whether or not to submit comments to the Ontario government.

GBA and SGB are currently focused on asking the government to open this 1,000 MW long-term storage requirement to a competitive public tender, as recommended by IESO. This process is usually required for all government contracts.

Learn More >>


Boating Safety & Emergencies, including Fire (BS&E)

As the number of boaters on the Bay steadily increases and climate change impacts accumulate (there is an increased risk of wildfires due to dryer conditions), your BS&E committee has been providing a wealth of information and guidance to help us all navigate these changes and stay safe. 

In addition, GBA has joined others to advocate for better controls over excessive boat noise and dangerous wakes.

See more under the Boating & Safety tab on the GBA website.

Learn More >>


Advocate for the Open-Net Cage Aquaculture Industry to Be Environmentally Sustainable and Compliant with International Standards and Established Best Practices

GBA supports aquaculture expansion to meet the demand for fish products. However, it should be sustainable with minimal environmental impact – i.e. in closed containment systems. GBA continues to advocate for the open-net pen aquaculture operations in Georgian Bay and the North Channel to cease causing negative environmental impacts. We are active in persuading the federal and Ontario governments to require the industry to comply with the Fisheries Act and international standards and guidelines in proposed new aquaculture laws and regulations.

Learn More >>


Keeping a watchful eye on Water Levels

GBA will continue to work with government and non-government agencies in the US and Canada to determine if there is any way to mitigate the impacts of extreme high and low water levels, which could worsen due to increasing climate change impacts. We continue to review government reports and analysis to make sure GBA members are fully informed. We will also surface any issues related to accuracy and completeness of water levels data, how water levels data can be enhanced, and how to improve ease of interpretation to better inform decision making, including adaptation strategies.

Learn More >>

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