October 31st, 2016

NDP calls on Premier to stop any plans to privatize Ontario Place

Ontario NDP GTA Affairs critic, Cheri DiNovo, called on Premier Wynne to stop any plans to privatize Ontario Place as the Wynne government prepares an omnibus bill that would enable the sale of Ontario Place lands.   

DiNovo was joined at a Queen's Park press conference by Toronto City Councillor, Mike Layton, and Urban Planner, Ken Greenberg.

“We fought and thought we'd won with the No Casino movement to keep Ontario Place public. Now it seems all the activism may have been in vain,” Di Novo said.

“Is this just a Halloween trick to secretly make an administrative amendment to allow the sale of Ontario parkland and heritage? If so, this an egregious mistake,” said Councillor Layton. 

Bill 27, the Burden Reduction Act, an omnibus bill that is over 150 pages long, quietly rewrites the Ontario Place Corporation Act ‎to enable condo development and other forms of privatization. The bill allows Ontario Place to “dispose of land, buildings and structures, or any interest in land, buildings and structures, by sale, lease or otherwise.' The bill also allows Ontario Place to be operated for “commercial” purposes.

Greenberg said Premier Wynne must keep her word to keep Ontario Place lands public.

“We are at a critical juncture in determining the future of Ontario Place. Ontario Place is an irreplaceable public asset on Lake Ontario, in the heart of a growing urban region that demands public space and access to Lake Ontario,” Greenberg said.

“It is absolutely essential that the Premier stand by her commitment and not permit any condo or other residential development at Ontario Place. The government should pursue a future for Ontario Place that embraces culture, recreation and entertainment, protects and re-purposes the Cinesphere and pods, and creates a revitalized waterfront canal district with stores and restaurants, bike and walking trails, playing fields and parks.”