Government of Ontario

Ford Budget could let developers pave over Ontario’s wetlands and Greenbelt

Published on November 20, 2020

Nov. 20, 2020

Ford Budget could let developers pave over Ontario’s wetlands and Greenbelt

QUEEN’S PARK — Doug Ford and his government have been overruling the zoning and environmental protection process to do favours for developer friends by dramatically and inappropriately overusing Minister’s Zoning Orders (MZOs), and is now using its budget to also help them pave over the wetlands.
“The nonpartisan Greenbelt Council has delivered a clear warning that the Ford government is putting people and property at risk with its latest stealth attack on the environment,” said NDP Environment critic Ian Arthur. “Doug Ford has been cooking up backroom deals with developer pals, and we have to stop it.”
Doug Ford has been caught trying to punch holes in the Greenbelt as a favour to developers three times.
In a letter from yesterday, the Greenbelt Council, chaired by David Crombie, called on the Ford government to remove Schedule 6 from its budget implementation bill. The schedule sidelines conservation authorities and opens the door to development on wetlands and flood plains, putting people and property at risk of flooding, soil contamination, threats to drinking water and other hazards.
The letter also repeated the council’s earlier warnings about the government’s misuse of Minister’s Zoning Orders (MZOs), which allow the minister to make backroom deals to approve favoured development projects without public consultation or transparent environmental review. The Ford government has been using them repeatedly in recently months, under the cover the pandemic, to do favours for developers who often have PC Party connections.