Tell Ford HANDS OFF Conservation Authorities
PETITIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY DEC 3 2020
The sweeping changes in Bill 229 are concerning to residents and NGOs alike. The preliminary analysis of Schedule 6 by the Canadian Environmental Law Association reflects these concerns, primarily the narrowing of the scope and powers of conservation authorities, restricting their duties so they can only act on behalf of their respective municipality and not the watershed as a whole, removing their ability to seek appeals of municipal planning decisions, and most troubling of all, introducing new rights for developers to force fast-tracking of decisions and putting all the power to decide solely in the hands of the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry.
Conservation authorities emerged as a necessary response to poor planning, for example building on floodplains, that led to drought, deforestation, erosion, increased flooding, and in the aftermath of Hurricane Hazel, loss of life and property. Their expertise is required to ensure safe development that is compatible with our geography.
Schedule 8 is also problematic, as it proposes to permanently exempt logging companies from endangered species laws, which threatens to hasten the decline of creatures such as woodland caribou.
Putting these changes into an omnibus budget bill circumvents the Environmental Bill of Rights, which would otherwise make these changes subject to public consultation. As neither Schedule 6 nor Schedule 8 are necessary legislation for discretionary spending or for fighting COVID-19 it can only be assumed they were put into an omnibus bill to avoid such scrutiny.
Opposition to this assault on our environmental protections and our democracy is building fast. We cannot stop Ford’s false majority from voting in such changes, but we can let him know people are paying attention and will not forget this destructive move. Join the opposition, sign the petition, and ask your friends and family to do the same.
Here’s a meme you can share on social media:
The opposition to this terrible legislation comes from many groups and NGOs. The TRCA itself made a statement: https://trca.ca/news/response-amendments-conservation-authorities-act/
Ontario Nature also has more information and a form to email your MPP and the respective Ministers: https://ontarionature.good.do/conservationauthorities/send/
96 NGOs from across the province have also signed a letter to the Minister: https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/nearly-100-groups-tell-the-ontario-government-it-is-unacceptable-to-use-mzos-to-override-wetlands-protections-871279158.html
TIME IS RUNNING OUT! Ford’s omnibus budget bill is already moving through the legislature, if a petition is going to be read in the House it must get into the hands of an MPP quick. Thankfully Beaches-East York MPP Rima Berns-McGown has agreed to read it during debate.
PETITIONS MUST BE RECEIVED AT THE OFFICE BY DEC 3 2020
Because the provincial government does not have an official e-petition site like the federal government, for petitions to be recognized in the legislature they must be hand-signed hard copies. Which in a time of COVID restrictions means signers must print their own copy, get every supporter in their bubble to sign, and then mail the copy to Rima’s office.
When complete please mail to or drop off at:
MPP Rima Berns-McGown, Constituency Office
1821 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON, M4C 1J2
Thank you for your support, please share this far and wide and quickly so we can tell Ford how unacceptable Ontarians find his decision to disempower conservation authorities, and unprotect the environment and endangered species.