By Emma McIntosh, National Observer, April 8, 2020
The Ontario government has suspended key environmental protection oversight rules, saying they could hinder its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The change allows the Progressive Conservative government to push forward projects or laws that could significantly impact the environment, without consulting or notifying the public. Critics say they fear the relaxed rules could be used to skirt environmental oversight for projects unrelated to COVID-19.
Under the new regulation, government ministries do not have to consult the public or consider environmental values as they make decisions. The regulation doesn’t specify that those decisions must be related to COVID-19.