By Max Hartshorn, Global News, December 7, 2020
The Ontario legislature is moving ahead with a Ford government bill to remove powers that allow local environmental regulators to protect communities against flooding and erosion. This despite warnings from those local environmental authorities that the changes would give new powers to provincial cabinet ministers to make political decisions about construction and industry projects that are not based on scientific evidence.
Conservation Ontario, which represents all 36 regional conservation authorities in the province, has asked the government to eliminate provisions of the bill that would take powers away from them. The association that represents municipalities across Ontario has also called on the government to revise its proposal.
As of Monday, the bill was in its final stages of debate at Queen’s Park. But a growing backlash has already provoked some resignations on a key panel.