The government introduced legislation design to cut “red tape” and increase economic activity. Bill 66, as originally drafted, let new business projects proceed even if they violate some existing restrictions in laws like the Clean Water Act, the Ontario Greenbelt Act, the Oakridges Moraine Act, the Great Lakes Protection Act, and some of Ontario’s recycling laws, among others. To qualify for these exemptions a project has to create 50-100 new jobs and get the OK from the local municipality, and the Province. GTA community groups and environmental organizations have expressed concern about drinking water safety, as well as conservation of greenspaces like the greenbelt and river valleys. (7) (8)
Feedback from many groups including nonprofits concerned about environmental issues were effective. On January 23rd, Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark announced that the government would not proceed with Schedule 10 of the legislation, which contained many of the provisions that had generated concern. (9)
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