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Privileging big business over the people of Ontario

Privileging big business over the people of Ontario

image of Privileging big business over the people of Ontario

Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, was introduced by the Government of Ontario on December 6, 2018 to facilitate development across Ontario. If passed, this legislation would trump critical environmental protections for land, water and wildlife. Schedule 10 of the proposed legislation would allow municipalities to create an “open-for-business planning by-law” to circumvent planning requirements and land use restrictions under numerous provincial laws, plans and policies. Under the guise of cutting red tape, Schedule 10 would line the pockets of big business at the expense of our health, our natural heritage and our environmental rights.

It would undermine everything ...

Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, was introduced by the Government of Ontario on December 6, 2018 to facilitate development across Ontario. If passed, this legislation would trump critical environmental protections for land, water and wildlife. Schedule 10 of the proposed legislation would allow municipalities to create an “open-for-business planning by-law” to circumvent planning requirements and land use restrictions under numerous provincial laws, plans and policies. Under the guise of cutting red tape, Schedule 10 would line the pockets of big business at the expense of our health, our natural heritage and our environmental rights.

It would undermine everything we have learned – sometimes under tragic circumstances – about how to protect our environment, and the health of people and communities across Ontario. We do not want another disaster like Walkerton. These changes are not being proposed to serve the best interests of the people of Ontario, they are being pushed by developers and landowners to capitalize on their land speculation.

From Thunder Bay to Toronto and Ottawa to Windsor, these changes would roll back progress that has been decades in the making. We will lose critical protections for water, wildlife and greenspace that are in the Planning Act, the Greenbelt Act, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, the Great Lakes Protection Act, the Lake Simcoe Protection Act, the Clean Water Act and more. This is not about unnecessary red tape or creating jobs – it is about generating short-term profits for the few at the long-term cost of the many. Additionally, despite the false narrative about jobs, Ontario's economy is strong – the unemployment rateis at its lowest level in 18 years, and the construction industry is also doing well

“Open-for-business by-laws” can bypass legal requirements intended to ensure fair, consistent and transparent public engagement with land use decisions in our communities. They can present industry with a back door to develop properties in places like the Greenbelt. For example, these by-laws

  • can be passed without any public notice or meetings,
  • cannot be appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal,
  • do not require a duty to consult with First Nations,
  • do not need to be consistent with municipal official plans,
  • do not need to be consistent with Planning Act policy statements, and
  • do not need to conform to provincial plans.

In other words, these “open-for-business by-laws” would turn back the clock on many years of good planning, community input and strong leadership from previous Progressive Conservative and Liberal governments. They would sidestep laws and policies intended to protect the long-term health and resilience of our communities and their residents by facilitating sprawling and unchecked development in areas that are home to sensitive natural features and the water resources upon which we all rely.

“Bill 66 represents an unprecedented and unacceptable attack on legislative provisions which currently safeguard environmental quality and public health and safety throughout Ontario.” – Canadian Environmental Law Association

Please join us in urging the government to remove Schedule 10 from Bill 66.

 

Photo © Dave Coulson

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Sign our letter to Premier Doug Ford, Minister Todd Smith, Minister Steve Clark and your local MPP

We will not stand by as the Government of Ontario lets big business bypass decades of environmental legislation and exploit the natural endowment that belongs to all of us, the people of Ontario. “Open-for-business by-laws” will leave communities across Ontario open to unchecked development.

Sign the letter below to Premier Doug Ford, Minister Todd Smith (Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade), Minister Steve Clark (Municipal Affairs and Housing) and your ...

We will not stand by as the Government of Ontario lets big business bypass decades of environmental legislation and exploit the natural endowment that belongs to all of us, the people of Ontario. “Open-for-business by-laws” will leave communities across Ontario open to unchecked development.

Sign the letter below to Premier Doug Ford, Minister Todd Smith (Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade), Minister Steve Clark (Municipal Affairs and Housing) and your local MPP to halt this attack on the environment. When the Government of Ontario axed the independent office of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, we were worried what might follow. We had no idea it would be this bad.

 

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