We are increasingly concerned about the actions Doug Ford’s government has taken to counteract the environmental protections our farmland, natural areas, and wild species need.
Proper public consultation on changes to environmental law and policy was something that Ontarians could count on, thanks to our Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR). Not anymore. Twice in recent years Ford’s government has broken our own laws by failing to consult with the public as required under the EBR. Both times the courts have confirmed the legal violation of the law. And now, with the passing of Bill 109, the government has done it again.
Bill 109 passed without allowing the legally required amount of time for public debate. The Bill includes significant changes to the Planning Act. At stake are the lands and waters that provide local food, mitigate floods, sequester carbon, conserve biodiversity and offer access to the outdoors, all so vital to our health and well-being.
Ontarians expect our government to respect and uphold our laws, including the legal requirements for public consultation when passing new environmental laws or altering existing ones. Fast-tracking legislation at the expense of our environment is short-sighted in the extreme and compromises our rights and interests and our children’s future. Sadly, the egregious and illegal actions by the Ford government come at a time when Nature needs us the most. With the upcoming elections, we have an important opportunity to make our expectations and demands clear.
Doug Crocker Lesley Lewis
Board Member, Ontario Nature Board Member, Ontario Nature
Member, Sound The Alarm OS Member of Grey Bruce Climate Action Network