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To: The Ford Government
Stop Ford’s Government Dismantling of Environmental Protection
Abide by the existing environmental protection laws, not ignore and gut them.
Why is this important?
It has taken decades to establish laws and regulations to protect Ontario’s environment - it’s wildlife, biodiversity, ecosystems and species at risk. Now, the Ford government is taking advantage of its majority government to gut these regulations while ignoring its legal obligations under the existing environmental protection laws.
On July 22, 2020 in the last week of Ontario Parliament’s summer session Premier Ford rammed through Bill 197, the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act on Wednesday and cancelled Thursday sitting. Bill 197 passed after no consideration at committee, and only 50 minutes of debate at Third Reading. It is a giant piece of omnibus legislation with far-reaching changes, including gutting environmental oversight rules.
The Ford government was "not compliant" with the law by passing its omnibus economic recovery bill Tuesday without consulting the public on major environmental changes according to auditor general Bonnie Lysyk.
Previously the Ford government eliminated the office of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario and more recently, on July 1, 2020, exempted forestry activities from the requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act.