This is not a WR Greens event, but may be of interest to environmentally conscientious members.
Laura Hamilton from Divest Waterloo writes:
I’m writing with some urgency today as we have very little time to mobilize resistance to Bill 66, known as Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act. I have included more information about this Bill below.
Grand River Environmental Network | GREN is planning a preliminary meeting
Tuesday December 18th
67 Erb Street West, Waterloo, Ontario in room A-142
to discuss the environmental implications of this legislation and to plan next steps for January.
Please extend this invitation to others whom you feel would be interested and able to support our efforts.
I apologize for the short notice and appreciate the difficulty of this request coming so close to the holidays. Our next meeting in January will be on Thursday the 3rd. Consultation closes on January 28th, so we really cannot delay.
Background on Bill 66
Last week, the Doug Ford government introduced Bill 66, known as “Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act.” Among its targets is the Greenbelt Act. Bill 66 would allow municipalities to circumvent Greenbelt protections by enacting “Open for Business” bylaws under which they could approve factories and business parks within the Greenbelt. Smaller municipalities (under 250,000) would simply need to show the Ford government that their Greenbelt development would create 50 jobs. For larger cities the requirement would be 100 jobs.
Related measures in Bill 66 would empower municipalities to exempt developers rules designed to protect wildlife and municipal water supplies, including the Clean Water Act, which was enacted following the Walkerton water tragedy in 2000 when seven people died after drinking the town’s contaminated water.
Other Acts targeted by the Ford government in the astonishing broad scope of Bill 66 include
- Toxins Reduction Act
- Great Lakes Protection Act
- Oak Ridges Moraine Act
- Places to Grow Act
- Lake Simcoe Protection Act
and * numerous other protections that help to ensure the safety and quality of life for millions of Ontarians.
If approved, Bill 66 could destroy our environmental regulations, contaminate our drinking water and circumvent good planning by haphazardly opening up farmland and natural areas for development with no requirement for public meetings or communications and no opportunity for appeal to any decisions.
It is a reckless bill to enhance the profits of only a few large businesses and corporations who would bypass important rules and safely regulations at a huge cost to every Ontarian.
We have just 42 days to stop this major threat to public safety, our environment, and natural resources we all depend on before the Ford government will attempt to approve this Bill. It is been called the biggest and most significant environmental rollback in a generation and we need to act now to mobilize as a community and kill Bill 66.
- Tories’ Bill 66 would undermine clean-water protections that followed Walkerton tragedy, victims and advocates warn
- CBC: Hamilton and Burlington mayors won’t sacrifice greenbelt for Ford’s open for business bill
- Globe and Mail: Ontario bill would open up Greenbelt, activists warn
- Canadian Labour and Employment Law: Ontario’s War on “Red Tape” Continues
* Other Laws impacted by Bill 66
- Agricultural Employees Protection Act, 2002
- Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014
- Education Act
- Employment Standards Act, 2000
- Farm Registration and Farm Organizations Funding Act, 1993
- Highway Traffic Act
- Labour Relations Act, 1995
- Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007
- Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act
- Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998
- Pawnbrokers Act
- Pension Benefits Act
- Personal Property Security Act
- Planning Act
- Private Career Colleges Act, 2005
- Technical Standards and Safety Act, 2000
- Wireless Services Agreements Act, 2013