Six more Greenbelt Council resign in protest to Ford Government’s Move to Gut Environmental Rules and Conservation Authorities
“Conservation Authorities are key to the future of watershed planning in Ontario. … The steps taken in (the Ford Government’s Budget Bill) ill 229 (to gut the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority and province’s 36 other CAs), put decades of excellent work across city and regional boundaries at risk.” – from a resignation letter by Ontario Greenbelt Council member Leith Moore
A News Release from Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Party
Posted December 7th, 2020 on Niagara At Large
TORONTO — Peter Tabuns, NDP critic for Energy and the Climate Crisis, has issued the following statement regarding Sunday’s resignation of six more members of the Greenbelt Council in protest over measures in Doug Ford’s budget that will gut conservation authorities.
These resignations follow the resignation of Chair David Crombie Saturday (December 5th) evening:
“I want to thank the outgoing members of the Greenbelt Council for their principled stand against Doug Ford’s attack on the environment, the Greenbelt, and conservation. People have had enough of Ford working for powerful developers and not in the best interests of the province.
“The resignations of seven Greenbelt Council members should be seen as the sounding of a massive warning alarm: Ford’s attacks will have serious consequences for our climate and our environment. Once again, we call on Ford to reverse these changes and stop his plans to let developers attack the environment.”
The following is an excerpt from a December 6th report by The Canadian Press –
TORONTO — Half of the remaining members of Ontario’s Greenbelt Council have followed their former chairman’s lead by stepping down in protest of pending environmental reforms.
Six members, all appointed under the previous Liberal government, resigned from the council on Sunday in the wake of a similar move by former Conservative federal cabinet minister and Toronto mayor David Crombie.
Crombie’s resignation notice said he was leaving the chairmanship in response to measures contained in the Progressive Conservatives’ omnibus budget bill that he argues would gut key environmental protections.
Crombie contends Schedule 6 of the bill would strip power from local conservation authorities and expand ministerial authority on zoning and other potentially sensitive environmental issues.
The six outgoing members all voiced the same concerns in their respective resignation letters and accused the government of ignoring Council advice and adopting reckless environmental policies.
Their departures leave just six members on the Council, five of whom were appointed since Premier Doug Ford took office in 2018.
“Conservation Authorities are key to the future of watershed planning in Ontario,” departing member Leith Moore wrote in a resignation letter. “Their continued long-term success is central to our environmental stewardship responsibility. The steps taken in Bill 229 put decades of excellent work across city and regional boundaries at risk.”
The resignations tendered by Deborah Martin-Downs, Wane Caldwell, Lynn Morrow, Pamela Blais and Kevin Eby all substantially echoed Moore’s concerns and explicitly cited the measures contained in the (Ford government’s) budget bill as the reasons for their departure.
To read information Niagara At Large posted this December 6th on the resignation of Ontario Greenbelt Council chair David Crombie, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2020/12/06/renown-ontarian-chair-of-provinces-greenbelt-council-resigns-over-fords-ongoing-war-on-our-environment/ .
For a December 7th CBC report on these resignations and related issues, click on – https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-greenbelt-latest-1.5830891 .
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