Ecojustice urges Ford government to undo COVID-19 environmental rollbacks

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.

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