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Old Posted Mar 9, 2021, 5:34 PM
thistleclub thistleclub is offline
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The province's war on nature continues apace.

To pave way for wetland development, Ford government retroactively changing law
(CBC News, Mike Crawley, March 5 2021)

The Ford government is proposing a retroactive change to provincial law to clear the way for a controversial development project on a protected wetland.

The change in legislation was tabled by the government Thursday as part of an unrelated bill about expanding broadband internet in rural areas.

The amendments to Ontario's Planning Act would nullify a key clause that limits the scope of ministerial zoning orders (MZOs), a powerful tool that helps fast-track developments by overriding local zoning rules.

CBC News has obtained an internal document that shows the government is making the change specifically to to bolster its case against a lawsuit that aims to halt a development on the Lower Duffins Creek wetland in Pickering.

Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark issued an MZO in October to fast-track a distribution centre and production facility in the wetland, south of Highway 401 near Pickering's border with Ajax.

The amendments to the Planning Act "appear designed to retroactively legitimize the order" regarding the Lower Duffins Creek project, according to the coalition of environmental groups that has launched the lawsuit

The Ford government has issued 33 MZOs since last April, more than the previous Liberal governments issued over the course of a decade.

Ontario's Planning Act currently says any such order must be consistent with all relevant "provincial policy statements" that are in effect at the time.

However, the amendments tabled Thursday say that provision "is deemed never to have applied" to any MZOs.


Read it in full here.
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