Ford Forced To Abandon Another Attempt To Punch Holes In Ontario’s Greenbelt

Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch

“We’re relieved, but we know we’re going to have to be vigilant. Ford and the developers he trades favours with clearly want to be able to plow through the Greenbelt.” – Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch

News from Ontario’s NDP and Official Opposition Party

Posted January 23rd, 2019 on Niagara At Large

A Brief Foreword from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –

Fighting to stop more of this from happening to what is left of Ontario’s natural heritage

Following concerns raised by Ontario’s New Democratic Party and by numerous municipalities across the province, including Niagara’s Regional Council, about the potential threat that language in Bill 66 – a so-called “Open For Business” piece of legislation being proposed by the Ford government – poses to the province’s Greenbelt and to opportunities for public consultation when it comes to development that may intrude on green space, the government has (as of this January 23rd) abandoned a controversial section in the bill.

Here is some reaction to the government’s decision to drop what has become infamously known  as “Schedule 10” in Bill 66 from Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch, who expressed concerns about the bill at a Niagara Regional Council meeting this past January 17th, and from the Ontario NDP as a whole –

Statement from MPP Jeff Burch on Bill 66 Changes

“I’m relieved to see that the Government addressed the mounting concerns from municipalities, environmental advocates, agricultural organizations and the Official Opposition.

Schedule 10 of Bill 66 had a multitude of deeply problematic provisions. What brought communities together was their concern for the ability of these Open for Business By-Laws to not conform to the Greenbelt Act and the Source Protection Plans that protect our drinking water under the Clean Water Act. 

It is through the efforts of vocal opposition that Schedule 10 was taken off the table. Those who fought hard against these provisions should celebrate in the news that their activism resulted in observable and expedient change.”

Ford forced to abandon second attempt to punch holes in the Greenbelt

From the Ontario’s NDP and Official Opposition Party

QUEEN’S PARK — Doug Ford has tried twice to open up the Greenbelt to big developers, and the NDP is now cautiously celebrating the collapse of his second attempt.

The Ford government announced Wednesday (January 23rd) that it will not move ahead with the section of an omnibus Ford bill that allows the Greenbelt to be swiss-cheesed by developers. During the spring election campaign, Ford was caught in a video promising a gaggle of developers during a secret backroom meeting that he would open up the Greenbelt for them.

A map of Ontario’s protected Greenbelt, shown in green and wrapping around Lake Ontario, through north Niagara to Niagara-on-the-Lake and the Niagara River.

“Today (January 23rd) is a day for celebration. By working together, concerned people and groups — including municipalities, environmental advocates, agricultural organizations and the Official Opposition — have been successful in holding off Ford’s attack on the Greenbelt,” said NDP Energy and Climate Change critic Peter Tabuns. “But this is now twice that Ford has tried to punch holes in our Greenbelt, and twice that he’s had to back down.

 “We’re relieved, but we know we’re going to have to be vigilant. Ford and the developers he trades favours with clearly want to be able to plough through the Greenbelt.”

The NDP has called for all of Ford’s massive deregulation bill, Bill 66, to be scrapped. The omnibus bill makes in-home day cares less safe, repeals environmental protections, ends protections tenants have from excessive hydro administrative fees, and much more — all dragging Ontario backward.

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie Sanders quote below.

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For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater bi-national Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .

 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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