“Third party” appeals limited to polluters, airports, and aggregate pits

Statement from Phil Pothen, Land Use and Land Development program manager

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat – Bill 185 effectively ends meaningful, independent oversight of development approvals outside existing built up areas. Ontarians can no longer have any confidence in the integrity of future decisions to extend suburban settlement boundaries, or to replace farms and natural areas with sprawl.

As with the attack on the Greenbelt, the Ontario government is once again engineering a tangle of scandal, waste and environmental harm, that it –or its eventual successor– will need to clean up. Any government that is serious about solving the housing shortage and restoring Ontario’s reputation for clean government will need to start by revoking any approvals for settlement boundary expansion, low-density sprawl development or habitat destruction that are the product of this new planning regime, and start from scratch.

Government MPPs could have prevented the wave of scandal, waste and destruction that is now likely to unfold by revising Bill 185 to prevent developer-initiated settlement boundary expansions. They could also have accepted proposed amendments that would have allowed farmers and independent watchdog groups to bring corruption-prone “greenfield” sprawl approvals to the Ontario Land Tribunal for scrutiny. Instead, the government used amendments to make Bill 185 worse. Last minute changes extend “third party” appeal rights for greenfield development only to aggregate pit developers and industrial polluters worried that nearby residents might bring attention to their pollution and may actually reopen the door for residential “NIMBY” landowners to continue blocking density and affordable housing within existing neighbourhoods.  

ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry, and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate, and healthy communities.

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For more information or to request an interview, please contact:
Carolyn Townend, Environmental Defence, media@environmentaldefence.ca