Councillor Josh Matlow

Premier Doug Ford’s Exemptions for Industry Lobbyists Threatens Greenbelt, Clean Water

Premier Doug Ford’s Exemptions for Industry Lobbyists Threatens Greenbelt, Clean Water

Please see the letter below I wrote with my colleagues to Premier Doug Ford in regards to the concerning Bill 66 announced late yesterday.

Premier of Ontario
Legislative Building
Queen’s Park
Toronto ON M7A 1A1

Re: Bill 66, An Act to restore Ontario’s competitiveness by amending or repealing certain Acts.

Dear Premier Ford,

As Toronto City Councillors, and environmental advocates, we have significant concerns about the harmful impact your government’s Bill 66, An Act to restore Ontario’s competitiveness by amending or repealing certain Acts will have on our city and our province.

Companies that create good jobs invest in jurisdictions that have educated workers, strong health care, excellent schools, and a high quality of life supported by clean air, water and green spaces. Ontarians rely on their government to ensure that their health and natural environment is protected.

We strongly urge you to reconsider the exemptions in Bill 66 allowing companies to override important environmental protections, without consultation or public notice, including the:

  • Clean Water Act
  • Great Lakes Protection Act
  • Greenbelt Act
  • Lake Simcoe Protection Act
  • Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act
  • Places to Grow Act

Our residents have long advocated for many of the measures contained in the above legislation. The source water protection required in the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act defends the headwaters of the Rouge, Don, and Humber Rivers. The Greenbelt preserves vital aquifers, wildlife corridors, agricultural lands and provides a natural buffer to inefficient urban sprawl and provides green space for all residents in our city and region. Both Acts ensure that there is more greenspace to absorb stormwater runoff, which has been the main culprit of an increase in flooded basements in recent years.

Eroding environmental protections like the Clean Water Act, legislated in the wake of the Walkerton tragedy, will put the health of the people you serve at risk and make our province less attractive to prospective companies looking to create new jobs- Businesses from around the world are lining up to invest in places like Toronto and Ottawa, not Flint, Michigan.

We urge you to create an Ontario with a clean, healthy environment that is truly “open for business”, not just industry lobbyists.

Sincerely,

Josh Matlow
City Councillor, Toronto-St. Paul’s
(Former Campaign Director – Earthroots)

Gord Perks
City Councillor, Parkdale-High Park
(Former Campaigner – Greenpeace, Pollution Probe, TEA)

Mike Layton
City Councillor, University-Rosedale
(Deputy Director – Environmental Defence)

Mike Colle
City Councillor, Eglinton-Lawrence
(Initiated Oak Ridges Moraine Act as MPP)

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