Hold MZOs Accountable - Remove Schedule 3 from Bill 257

Hold MZOs Accountable - Remove Schedule 3 from Bill 257

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Jacquie Turcotte a lancé cette pétition adressée à Legislative Assembly of Ontario

SCHEDULE 3, BILL 257 DISCUSSION

Bill 257 is the Supporting Broadband and Infrastructure Expansion Act. Within this Act are proposed changes to the Planning Act (Schedule 3) which allow for Ministerial Zoning Orders (MZO's) to override key provisions of the Planning Act. What this means is that when an MZO is used to permit development, it will no longer have to be consistent with Ontario's fundamental planning principles, which are outlined in the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS). The PPS sets the policy foundation for comprehensive, integrated, long-term land use planning in Ontario. It provides for appropriate development while protecting resources of provincial interest, public health and safety, and the quality of the natural and built environment. It is regularly revised and updated through extensive public consultation with experts, stakeholders, and Indigenous rights holders. It is meant to provide balanced, relevant, and widely supported policy direction on planning matters. 

With the exclusion of the Greenbelt, for now, lands currently protected under the PPS will become vulnerable to development at the whim of the Province. Schedule 3 allows MZOs to be issued to fast-track development projects that destroy protected farmland, wetlands, and natural features. It allows an MZO to be issued by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing with no public input, including that of Indigenous communities. It represents an attack on the public's constitutional right to seek judicial review of unlawful decisions. 

The government has used the pandemic as a cover for its environmentally destructive actions, hiding this legislation amendment in a bill unrelated to the environment or land use planning. It avoids complying with Ontario's most basic planning principles. These changes also allow projects that may have been prohibited by the PPS to now have another push forward. These changes also apply retroactively meaning that any past MZO issued will not be required to be consistent with the PPS. This means that no MZO would be open to a legal challenge even if it violated the Planning laws at the time they were issued. MZOs cannot be challenged in court, regardless of potential adverse environmental, social, or economic impacts. Schedule 3 turns MZOs, tools which are already abused,

These changes only benefit developers and allowing development on protected land will increase flood risks, destroy wildlife habitat, and cause irreparable harm to the environment. Places such as provincially significant wetlands, watersheds, and natural heritage sites, which were protected, could be served up to sprawl developers. It exposes people to floods and landslides. It will pave over much of our best remaining farmland, woodland, and wetland. It will burden municipal governments with even more unsustainable neighborhoods that lack enough density to support their own maintenance, operations, and services. It will jeopardize the many benefits that farmland and natural areas provide, including flood control, local food, clean water, carbon storage, wildlife habitat, recreational activities, and more. It puts protected wetlands and natural features across Ontario at risk of being destroyed. It deprives land and planning elected councils, and other community members, of the leverage they need to insist that developers comply with the PPS. It undermines the rules of law and procedural fairness that we expect in Ontario. This legislation does not reflect the values ​​and desires of the Ontario people, and is yet another example of how the PC party ignores the people it has vowed to represent. * This legislation does not reflect the values ​​and desires of the Ontario people, and is yet another example of how the PC party ignores the people it has vowed to represent. * This legislation does not reflect the values ​​and desires of the Ontario people, and is yet another example of how the PC party ignores the people it has vowed to represent. **much of the information contained in this petition was sourced from others**

This issue is compounded by the amendments to the Conservation Authorities Act, Schedule 6 in Bill 229 - Protect, Support, and Recover from COVID-19 Act, which forces Conservation Authorities to acquiesce to MZOs even when they know it will expose Ontario to flooding, landslides, or other environmental hazards. Both Schedules were passed under the guise of financial recovery from the pandemic, but which only benefit politicians and developers. 

This Petition implores the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to immediately remove Schedule 3 - Planning Act, from Bill 257 - Supporting Broadband and Infrastructure Expansion Act and to revoke and void any MZOs issued under this legislation. 

To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

WHEREAS Schedule 3, Bill 257, allows Ministerial Zoning Orders (MZO's) to override key provisions of the Planning Act. 

WHEREAS Schedule 3, 257, allows an MZO to be used to permit development and no longer have to be consistent with Ontario's fundamental planning principles, which are outlined in the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS). 

WHEREAS Schedule 3, Bill 257, allows MZOs to be issued to fast-track development projects that destroy protected farmland, wetlands, and natural features. 

WHEREAS Schedule 3, Bill 257, allows an MZO to be issued by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing with no public input, including that of Indigenous communities. 

WHEREAS Schedule 3, Bill 257, allows projects that may have been prohibited by the PPS to now have another push forward. These changes apply retroactively meaning that any past MZO issued will not be required to be consistent with the PPS.

WHEREAS Schedule 3, Bill 257, allows provincially significant wetlands, watersheds, and natural heritage sites, which were protected, to be served up to sprawl developers. 

WHEREAS Schedule 3, Bill 257, deprives land and planning elected councils, and other community members, of the leverage they need to insist that developers comply with the PPS. 

WE, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:

To immediately remove Schedule 3 - Planning Act, from Bill 257 - Supporting Broadband and Infrastructure Expansion Act, and immediately revoke and void any MZOs issued under this legislation.

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