The City of Burlington has responded to the provincial government’s Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018.
This bill was tabled by the provincial government on Dec. 6, 2018.
According to a recent press release from the City of Burlington, if passed this bill would allow municipalities to, with the Minister’s consent, pass “Open for Business’” zoning by-laws.
These bylaws would not be bound by existing legislation, such as the Clean Water Act, 2006 or the Greenbelt Act, 2005.
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Critics believe that this could open up development on Greenbelt areas.
The City of Burlington recently commented on how it would address this bill if passed.
“We stand firm in our commitment to protecting our greenbelt from development and protecting our farm families and rural agricultural economy,” Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said in a recent press release.
“We will also ensure our residents benefit from the protections in all the other pieces of legislation referred to in Bill 66. We will not be comprising their safety or quality of life for speed. I do not see Burlington using this legislation, if it is passed. At the same time, we’ll do everything we can to ensure Burlington is open for business.”
The City of Burlington went onto note that farmland is a key factor in the community.
“Burlington has a long history of a firm urban boundary, supporting both the Niagara Escarpment Plan and the Greenbelt Plan,” Mary Lou Tanner, Deputy City Manager, said in a recent press release.
“We strongly support protecting our rural area from development. Farming is part of our community identity and a key driver in the economy. At the same time, our administration is committed to reducing red tape.”
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Photo courtesy of the Ontario PC Party’s official Facebook page.