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Doug Ford backs down on attacking Greenbelt protections.

It appears that there was a lot of blowback to this plan over the Christmas holidays to Conservative MPP’s. Good – it was a terrible idea:

The Ford government is scrapping a controversial plan that would have allowed municipalities to opt out of some provincial planning rules to attract new commercial development, bypassing environmental laws in the process. Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark announced Wednesday on Twitter that the Progressive Conservatives would not proceed with a schedule in its omnibus legislation, Bill 66, after “concerns were raised by MPPs, municipalities and stakeholders.” Schedule 10 would have amended the province’s Planning Act to allow municipalities to create “open for business” zoning bylaws allowing them to circumvent existing provincial legislation, including the Greenbelt Act, Clean Water Act and Great Lakes Protection Act, in order to entice major employers.

However, as stated later in this article by environmental advocates,, Ford and his PC government appear to be eager to do anything to weaken environmental laws to make Ontario “open for business” (read – help their developer friends get rich), so constant vigilance and pressure must be kept on this government. This is the 2nd time Ford has been caught trying to do things to weaken the GreenBelt (recall he was caught musing during the election campaign about easing laws and was forced to backtrack).  I will not be surprised if there are future attempts.




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