Bill 66 is a provincial bill that would allow municipalities to by-pass both land-use planning and environmental regulations in the name of being 'Open for Business'. Under the envisioned scenario, a large business could be given a pass if it provided a certain level of local employment—100 people in Ottawa's case.
A law by-passing other laws and protections, generations in the making, is deeply concerning, but the legislation goes further, foregoing any consultative process with the public and disallowing residents from appealing such 'Open for Business' decisions.
The actual environmental consequences of land development in sensitive areas should this this legislation be enacted, should also give cause for serious pause.
Please follow the links below, and if you find that you are indeed concerned, please consider sending an email to our Councillor email@example.com, to the Mayor Jim.Watson@ottawa.ca, to our MPP JHarden-QP@ndp.on.ca, and to the Provincial Planning Policy team PlanningConsultation@ontario.ca, attention Ken Peterson, Provincial Planning Policy Branch.
Here's where to find some additional information:
Fundamentals on the Bill
- The Bill Amending the Planning Act
- The Regulation
- Bill 66 itself
- Important Schedules (where the nitty gritty is spelled out)
Commentaries on the Bill
- Canadian Environmental Law Association
- Ontario Nature
- Environmental Defense
- CBC on vote against proposed policy by Waterloo City Council
- Pembina Institute
What You Can Do
Public comments are open on the bill at the Environmental Registry of Ontario until January 20, 2019. To comment, visit the ERO website here.