Mono Council supports NDACT’s opposition to Bill 66

January 28, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Jasen Obermeyer

Mono Council has voted to not support proposed amendments to land use planning under Bill 66, the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, and will be sending that message to the province. 

The government says it will ensure the province is “open for business,” reduce the regulatory and financial burden of operating a business in a number of areas, including employment and labour relations, to encourage businesses to relocate to and/or expand in Ontario.

At Mono’s last council meeting on Jan. 8, the North Dufferin Agricultural and Community Taskforce (NDACT) voiced their concerns over the bill.

“NDACT is supportive of the goal of streamlining and reducing red tape for business to operate in Ontario, but not at the expense of transparency and the rights of citizens to know what is happening in their own backyard,” said NDACT’s executive director Karen Wallace. 

She said they are most concerned with the proposed amendment that would permit developers to circumvent Water Act, 2006; Great Lakes Protection Act, 2015; Greenbelt Act, 2005; Lake Simcoe Protection Act, 2008 and the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, 2001.

“People have worked hard over the last 40, 50 years trying to get these acts in place, and with the flick of a pen, people will be able to bypass them.”

 “The intent of Bill 66, although understandable, is being done in an unprecedented manner,” David Trotman, the town’s director of planning, told council. “It’s an alarming piece of legislation.”

Councillor Fred Nix commented on the proposed amendment having not mentioned the Conservation Authority Act or the Niagara Escarpment Act. “You could throw anything into that. It seems pretty open-ended.”

Ms. Wallace asked council to voice their opposition to Bill 66. The motion supporting her call, introduced by Councillor Sharon Martin and seconded by Councillor Ralph Manktelow, was unanimously approved. 

Council directed Mr. Trotman to submit comments to the provincial government that they will not exercise the powers granted to pass open-for-business planning by-laws for the duration of this term of office unless public consultation and public meetings are held.

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