This week the Government of Ontario introduced what they call an
economic development tool, an open for business planning bylaw
(regulation) which would exempt major economic development
projects, major employment uses from planning and environmental
laws. This bill gives municipalities the power to override
existing legislation that the government sees as impeding economic
development that supports jobs through a open for business
planning bylaw. Perhaps most disturbing is the provision that
allows a project to proceed without a public meeting. Once the
municipality has the Minister’s approval they can move ahead.
Communities in the Greenbelt will literally not know a development
is going ahead until the bulldozers start tearing up trees, water
sources, habitat and land.
The existing legislation was put in place by all parties, Conservative, Liberal and NDP over the last 30 plus years. Breaking the promise not to open up the Greenbelt, which Ford had promised to leave intact, shows a disrespect to voters. It also puts the health of farmers and rural landowners at risk. The health of our region depends on valuing our farms, forests, clean water sources and nature.
What Can I Do To Have My Opinion Heard:
Sign the petition stopbill66.ca
Please get on social media and use the hashtag #stopbill66. Some sample messages,
- Premier Ford please call back the legislature to re-introduce Bill 66 with the attack on the Greenbelt, Oak Ridges Moraine and clean drinking water removed. #stopbill66
- To your friends- Will your municipality be using the province’s Bill 66 to rollback critical environmental legislation for clean drinking water? #stopbill66
- To your Council- XX municipal council please pass a resolution saying you won’t use an open for business bylaw that threatens drinking water, the Greenbelt, and the Oak Ridges Moraine and stops public participation. #stopbill66
- Bill 66 rollbacks critical environmental legislation that protects the health of the people, its not either or, we can have a clean environment and a healthy economy.
If you would like specific instructions how to do this on your computer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where Can I Get More Information:
MMAH/Planning Act changes in Bill 66, restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act allows municipalities, with ministerial approval, to pass “Open For Business” bylaws that allow municipalities to bypass various planning statutes, including the Greenbelt Act, . Schedule 10 of the Bill amends the Planning Act, section 34.1 to allow municipalities to pass open for business planning by-laws.
Environmental Defence held a facebook live event yesterday that gives a really good overview of the issue and why it matters.