Ontario government disappoints with broken promises on Greenbelt protectionPembina Institute reacts to the Government of Ontario’s proposed Bill 66

Dec. 7, 2018

TORONTO — Robin Edger, Ontario regional director at the Pembina Institute, made the following statement in response to Ontario’s proposed changes to the Planning Act, through Bill 66 

“We are extremely disappointed to see the Ontario government break its campaign promise to protect Ontario’s environment by announcing new loopholes that would open up the Greenbelt to development at the Minister’s discretion and allow developments to bypass public consultation and other protections like the Clean Water Act and Growth Plan. The Greenbelt – which contains the Oak Ridges Moraine and the Niagara Escarpment - spans almost 2 million acres of protected forest, farmlands, and wetlands and supports Ontario’s agricultural and tourism industries. 

“Along with recent decisions to eliminate Ontario’s environmental watchdog, and today’s decision to scrap the Green Energy Act, the proposed bill goes against previous commitments from Premier Ford to protect the Greenbelt and demonstrates that this government is not actually committed to protecting Ontarians’ right to a clean environment or allowing people to have a say on environmental decisions.

“While this move is presented as making Ontario “open for business,” the reality is that this government is selective in supporting business interests. Cancelling renewable energy contracts and eliminating the cap-and-trade system without compensation to businesses have compromised investor certainty in the province.

“We do not need to pave over Ontarians’ sources of clean water, local food and recreation opportunities to accommodate growth in the region. In fact, there is already sufficient available land within the region’s designated growth boundaries to build jobs and homes decades into the future. Instead of enabling further sprawl, we need to build jobs and homes closer to transit networks and city centres to fight congestion and keep the region economically competitive, and we hope this government will seize those opportunities.” 

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Contact

Kelly O’Connor
Interim Communications Director
416-220-8804

About the Pembina Institute

The Pembina Institute is a non-profit think-tank that advocates for strong, effective policies to support Canada’s clean energy transition. We have offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Toronto. Learn more: www.pembina.org

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