I must register my objections to this bill.
There are many parts of this bill that will have a detrimental effect on the lives of those in Ontario. I do not believe this will do anything like restore competitiveness to our province - instead, this bill will gut environmental regulation, make this province a less safe place for children and workers, and it will do all that while making it difficult if not impossible for people to take in its entire scope and be able to make informed comments and judgements about everything it will do.
Repealing protections for workers will not restore Ontario's competitiveness.
Repealing regulations on the usage of toxic chemicals will not restore Ontario's competitiveness.
Letting municipalities sidestep environmental regulations with the express permission of the provincial minister will certainly not do anything other than gut the Green Belt, the Great Lakes, and Lake Simcoe.
First, this should not be an omnibus bill. These individual changes absolutely should be debated and dealt with separately by the Legislature and passing them in this fashion is undemocratic. These changes have nothing to do with each other and surely do not warrant being forced together into an all-or-nothing package.
Second, environmental legislation exists to keep this province a healthy place for our children and our grandchildren and allowing municipalities to mortgage the future health of our ecology for such little benefit is shortsighted, irresponsible and very dangerous.
We need to do everything we can to protect our environmental resources, and to that end, we have legislation in place that does that. Once these resources are ruined, they are gone. The Oak Ridges Moraine is wholly unique and needs to be protected at all costs, or it will negatively impact the lives of millions of people. This legislation was put in place to protect these resources, and to protect the people who live near and depend on those resources, and they need to be left in place.
To make it easier for certain types of development to happen, why not encourage municipalities to more easily change zoning on areas that are already developed, allowing redevelopment and revitalization to happen, instead of bulldozing our few protected green spaces?
It’s possible that elements of this bill are not individually damaging or could work to restore Ontario’s competitiveness, but taken as a whole, this bill will not restore anything to Ontario’s consumers - instead, it is a gift to corporations with no clear reasoning or methods for how these changes will protect the people of Ontario.
The people of Ontario require public consultation on these changes, and at a minimum the sections dealing with environmental protections and toxic chemicals need to be struck from this bill before it is fit to be passed. As it is, I cannot support this bill, or a government that passes legislation of this type. This is not for the people of Ontario; the only interests this bill will serve are private capital and corporations, at the expense of our province’s environment, our health, and our productivity.
Submitted December 7, 2018 12:58 PM