Niagara Falls MPP, environmentalist appearing at council with concerns about Greenbelt bill


Published February 28, 2023 at 3:07 pm

Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates wil be at Niagara Falls City Council tonight, discussing his concerns over Bill 23. The MPP has said he will also be making presentations at Niagara-on-the-Lake and Fort Erie Town Councils.

Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates and area environmental Owen Bjorgan will be at the microphone at tonight’s (Feb. 28) Niagara Falls City Council meeting to discuss their concerns over the Greenbelt bill passed at Queen’s Park.

Bill 23 called “More Homes Built Faster” will allow the Doug Ford Conservatives to remove Greenbelt protection and override local conservation authorities on where new developments can be constructed.

Gates’ distain for Bill 23 has been widely articulated by the MPP himself after it was passed in November 2022.

“Doug Ford doesn’t have a serious plan for the housing crisis in Ontario. But what he does have a plan for, is making his wealthy donors (land developers) even richer,” said Gates at the time. “That’s what Bill 23 does, by opening up the Greenbelt for development.”
“We need to protect our wetlands, farmlands, and greenspaces. We can tackle the housing crisis without tearing up our environmentally significant lands,” Gates added.

Bjorgan’s presentation is expected to be a slide-show showing the potential damage to wetlands and other environmentally-sensitive areas should developers be allowed to bulldoze over them without restrictions.

Another hugely contentious part of Bill 23 dropped developers’ charges for builders with the government saying they would impede any progress in getting the necessary growth needed for new subdivisions. The Province said dropping the charges will help fast-track construction of 1.5 million homes across Ontario over the next decade.

Since developer charges are used to build infrastructure necessary for homes – roads, water lines, sewage systems – many believe those costs will now be dropped directly on the shoulders of Ontario municipalities.

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