I am against this proposal! OUR GREENBELT IS AT RISK ONCE AGAIN!! Despite promising to keep their hands off, Premier Doug Ford and his government are proposing problematic changes to the legislation designed to ensure our wonderful Greenbelt is protected! Environment Hamilton is a core member of the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance. We received this update yesterday from Susan Swail - Environmental Defence's Senior Manager - Liveable Communities:
Good Afternoon OGA members,
It is a challenging time for Greenbelt supporters. Today 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.
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, which Ford had promised to leave intact. Schedule 10 of the Bill amends the Planning Act, section 34.1 to allow municipalities to pass open for business planning by-laws.
The “Open for Business” zoning bylaw would be enacted by a municipality. Provisions in the legislation exempt municipalities to conform to aspects of the Planning Act, Great Lakes Protection Act, Clean Water Act, Greenbelt Act, Oak Ridges Moraine Act, Lake Simcoe Protection Act, the Places to Grow Act among others. 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.
Breaking the promise not to open up the Greenbelt shows a disrespect to voters. It also puts the health of farmers and rural landowners at risk. Just this week the Neptis Foundation released a report calling for a regional vision for the GGH. The health of our region depends on valuing our farms, forests, clean water sources and nature
Submitted December 7, 2018 1:39 PM