By Emma MacIntosh, National Observer, May 20, 2020
Green law charity Ecojustice is urging the Ontario government to undo the province’s dismantling of environmental protections during the COVID-19 pandemic, calling them an unnecessary overreach that leaves the public in the dark.
On April 1, citing the pandemic, the government suspended a broad swath of environmental protection law, effectively allowing the province to push forward environmentally significant projects or policy changes — even those that don’t relate to COVID-19 — without consulting or notifying the public.
But the law already allows the government to skip public consultation if a public health emergency demands it, said Ecojustice staff lawyer Rob Wright. The only conditions are that the government notifies the auditor general and the public and explains its reasoning — stipulations that aren’t included in the exemption Ontario passed last month.https://www.nationalobserver.com/2020/05/20/news/ecojustice-urges-ford-government-undo-covid-19-environmental-rollbacks