February 16th, 2021
February 16th, 2021
HAMILTON – Official Opposition Critic for Environment, Conservation and Parks Sandy Shaw is standing in solidarity with Environmental Action Now Ajax-Pickering (EANAP) and other groups organizing to “Save not Pave” the Duffins Creek wetland.
“Doug Ford and his government have repeatedly used controversial Minister’s Zoning Orders to override community consent and ignore environmental protections. I stand with those on the ground in Pickering pushing back against this overreach of provincial power. We are in a climate crisis, there is absolutely no reason to be paving a provincially significant wetland,” said Shaw.
Minister’s Zoning Orders (MZOs) have been called the nuclear option in planning and allow the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to ignore any formal process and approve a development regardless of if the local community is supportive or if the location is covered by environmental protections. The NDP has previously called for an investigation into PC insiders benefitting in at least half of these fast-track development approvals.
“Instead of taking on the COVID-19 crisis and helping struggling Ontarians, the Ford government has been using its resources to pass legislation for their developer donors. The government’s most recent finance bill, Bill 229, had more to do with meddling with Ontario’s conservation authorities than it did with COVID relief.”
The Ford government’s use of MZOs has not gone unnoticed. Across the province, communities are pushing back against this government’s use of MZOs and attacks on environmental protections.
“I applaud those taking a stand to protect Duffins Creek and want to caution this government that if they don’t start repealing many of their MZOs and related changes, actions like these will begin popping up across the province. Ontarians won’t allow their natural areas and farmland to be sold off because the conservatives enjoy developer donations. Ontarians have no choice but to take a stand, when there’s no consultation or consent process,” added Shaw.