Bill 229 Update

Unfortunately, Bill 229, including Schedule 6, with its attack on protections for Ontario watersheds and wetlands, was passed into law on December 9, despite many protests from citizens and organizations across the province.

From Environmental Defence’s email to members:

“It can be hard to carry on the fight when it seems like the government won’t listen to reason or to the voices of its constituents. It’s crystal clear that this government is not “for the people” – but is for the special interests of a small group of influential developers and land speculators. 

That said, we should all take heart from the incredible way that people from across the province have rallied together to support Conservation Authorities, and the protection of Ontario’s natural places…

And you can be sure, the fight to protect Ontario’s forests, wetlands, farmlands and river valleys is not over. 

Together with all of our partners we will still push for the government to repeal Schedule 6. Environmental Defence will also oppose every dangerous development that is pushed forward into high quality, previously protected areas by anti-democractic Minister’s Zoning Orders.  For example, we have already filed a legal challenge to the government’s plan to allow developers to pave over 50% of Lower Duffins Creek provincially significant wetland in Pickering to build a warehouse.”

David Crombie, Chair of the Greenbelt Council, resigned in protest of Bill 229 on December 5, 2020. In his letter of resignation, he stated:

“It cuts out the heart of integrated watershed planning and management; severely cripples the Conservation Authorities in the pursuit of their historic stewardship of environmental issues, and now with the grossly expanded use of Ministerial Zoning Orders (MZO) and other procedural revisions, essential public discussion and debate will be stifled or shut down.”

“This is not policy and institutional reform. This is high-level bombing and needs to be resisted.”

A copy of David Crombie’s resignation letter is available here.