Bill 257

March 6, 2021

Hon. Steve Clark, MPP
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
777 Bay St., 17th Floor
Toronto, ON M5G 2E5

RE: Bill 257- Schedule 3 – The Planning Act – MZOs and Provincial Policy Statements (PPS)

Dear Minister Clark,

We are concerned, disappointed, and angry that you have introduced legislation that amends the Planning Act to provide that Ministerial Zoning Orders (MZOs) are not required and are deemed to never have been required to be consistent with Provincial Policy Statements (PPS) issued under subsection 3 (1); that is, except for such orders that apply to land in the Greenbelt Area.

This legislation, sneaked in as part of an omnibus bill dealing with unrelated matters, is unjust, authoritarian, and undemocratic. It curtails the municipal planning process and facilitates non-compliance with the Provincial Policy Statements. Worse, it is applied retroactively, apparently to attempt to avoid the Provincial Government being held to account in two ongoing court challenges; Duffin’s Creek and the Foundry. A Globe and Mail article, states:

“CBC News has obtained an internal document that shows the government is making the change specifically to undermine a lawsuit that aims to halt a development on the Lower Duffins Creek wetland in Pickering.”

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-doug-ford-mzo-pickering-duffins-creek-1.5937584

A statement from the three groups involved in the court case: Environmental Defence, Ontario Nature, and Ecojustice, said the move amounts to “an attack on the public’s constitutional right to seek judicial review of unlawful decisions”.

We request that you abandon this legislation immediately.

It fails to meet the standards of democratic governance which the residents of Ontario expect and deserve from their Government.

Respectfully submitted,

Geoff Kettel
President

c.c. Premier Doug Ford, MPP, Steven Del Duca, Andrea Horwath, MPP, Mike Schreiner, MPP

Photo: Ahmed Omari