“Open For Business”: putting our community at risk

I am extremely concerned about Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act which has recently been introduced by the Province.  I believe it puts our community at risk, as it allows municipalities to bypass planning policies and clean water regulations in our communities, including by-laws that override Greenbelt Act prohibitions. (Schedule 10 of Bill 66 is particularly concerning.)

If municipalities adopt the “Open For Business”zoning by-law as proposed in Section 10 developers will be exempt from:

  • Giving public notice about their development;
  • Consulting with the public or local Councillors about their developments;
  • Appeals to the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT) about their developments; and,
  • Greenbelt, Clean Water Act, Growth Plan or Great Lakes Protection Act Regulations.

I believe that there are several pieces of legislation affected by Bill 66 which are critical to our quality of our life. Furthermore, I believe that because of our geographical location and the reality of our landscape, we play an important stewardship role for the lands and aquifers below it.

It is these core beliefs which motivated me to engage in the recent review of the Greenbelt Plan and the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan.  As a Councillor, my confidence level about development applications depends on assessment of how a development complies with the Clean Water Act.  As a Councillor, my interest in an application also depends on whether it is consistent with policies in the Growth Plan which curb sprawl.  This is why I am personally very concerned.

I am making a commitment to you that I will oppose any attempt to implement “open for business” zoning in King. I will do so on the basis that the most important voice at the table is yours, and this proposed legislation would take away your opportunity to shape planning in our community. I will also oppose it as the long term consequences of ignoring the regulations of the Greenbelt, Clean Water Act, Growth Plan or Great Lakes Protection Act are unacceptable.

I encourage you to share your feedback about this proposed legislation to our MPP, Stephen Lecce:  [email protected]  647 560 9700.

To learn more about this Bill click here.  (Note:  Section 10 is on page 31 of the 35 page PDF.)  Learn more, talk to your friends and neighbours and make your position known to your MPP.  Finally, let me know what you think about this.


9 Responses to “ ““Open For Business”: putting our community at risk”

  1. James Bruce Craig says:

    1000’s and 1000’s of people and several provincial governments over the past 30 years have invested countless hours in contributing to the progressive planning and water acts now in place in Ontario – creating the Greenbelt, protecting the Oak Ridges Moraine, curbing urban sprawl, protecting clean water sources and conserving valuable prime farmland.

    Debbie, I share your deep concerns about Bill 66, as I see critically important provincial legislation being unraveled. I’m hopeful that King Township and municipalities all over Ontario will “opt out” of passing “open for business zoning by-laws” and sustain the integrity of the provincial acts which provide quality of life and clean water safety, plus consistency in planning in the GTA and beyond.

  2. Debbie Gordon says:

    I was worried years from now the Oak Ridges Moraine would be threatened. Never thought it would be now.

    • Debbie says:

      We need to tell our MPP’s and relevant cabinet ministers that Section 10 of Bill 66 is not acceptable. It needs to be removed from Bill 66.

  3. Melissa Mackenzie says:


    Thank you for your continued concern for our environment and community. You have put into words all if the concerns I have been feeling regarding bill 66. I appreciate you speaking up against it.

  4. Peter Iaboni says:

    Thank you Debbie for posting this and taking a strong position. Hopefully, you will get support atTownship Council and throughout the Province. “Open for Business” of the PC government will prove to be detrimental to the general public, protection of the environment.

  5. Nancy Hopkinson says:

    Hi Debbie,
    I totally agree with you. It looks like Premier Ford is totally in the hands of developers and wants them to be “above the law”.
    The environment certainly matters and laws to protect it are important.
    Our health depends to a large extent on how healthy our environment is. When the pollution counts were high in Ontario, and it was affecting one of my sons, I was happy that he moved to the Vancouver area where the air is cleaner. His asthma virtually disappeared. The Ontario Liberals worked at cleaning up much of the air pollution with closing coal fired power plants and having cars inspected. Now we don’t have to have cars inspected. How long will it be before the pollution counts rise again to dangerous levels?

  6. Angela Rose says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Deb, for posting this. Nothing is more important than our earth. Without it, jobs won’t matter, will they?

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