The Issue with Bill 66
The Ontario Government introduced Bill 66 – Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act – on December 6, 2018 to help accelerate business development. Bill 66 proposes over 30 amendments to Ontario’s current Planning Act, which would allow municipalities to pass an “open-for-business planning by-law” to expedite development approvals.
There are many issues with Bill 66 as it will be detrimental to all the efforts that have been made to protect the environment, and the ecological health of communities across Ontario.
We would lose critical protections for water, wildlife and sensitive natural features set out in the Planning Act, the Greenbelt Act, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, the Great Lakes Protection Act, the Lake Simcoe Protection Act, the Clean Water Act and more.
What Does This Mean?
- Drinking water and watersheds across Ontario will be threatened
- Wetlands, woodlands, habitat for species at risk in Ontario will all be in jeopardy
- Two million hectares of natural areas and farmlands will be threatened in Ontario
- Fresh water and the health of Lake Simcoe will be compromised
- It will threaten the ecological health of communities across Ontario
- It will endanger human and wildlife through increased exposure to toxic chemicals
- Community members would not be able to appeal any open-for-business by-laws
- Contrary to current legal requirements (eg. Planning Act, Clean Water Act), Under Bill 66 any by-laws could be passed without any prior public notice, compromising transparency and public engagement
What Can You Do?
This is an urgent and critical issue and we need you to act now!
1.SUBMIT A COMMENT TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL REGISTRY OF ONTARIO OPPOSING BILL 66. You can go and submit a comment before January 20th at midnight.
2. SIGN THESE PETITIONS:
- Canadian Council of Canada – Stop Bill 66 Before it Passes
- Ontario Nature – Help #StopBill66
- Stop Bill 66
3. WRITE TO THE PREMIER. Let Premier Doug Ford know what you think of Bill 66 using the PREMIER’S WEBSITE FEEDBACK FORM to provide your input. You can also write to: Premier of Ontario, Legislative Building, Queen’s Park, Toronto, ON, M7A 1A1. See the sample letters here.
4. CONTACT YOUR OWN MEMBER OF PROVINCIAL PARLIAMENT. It does not matter which party they represent or their position on this issue. Let them know that Bill 66 contradicts all prior commitments and promises by the Ontario government to protect our Green Belt and it is putting the community, our health, wildlife, and the environment at risk and you are strongly opposed to it. Find your Ontario MPP and send them an email. See the sample letters here.
5. CONTACT YOUR MAYOR AND COUNCIL and send them an email. See the sample letters here.
6. VOTE ON THIS ONLINE POLL Vote that you disagree with the proposed amendments to the Planning Act as set out in Bill 66, the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act on this online poll.