MZOs will be the DOA if the Ontario Liberal wins the June election.
Liberal leader Steven Del Duca said he would stop the practice of using the minister’s zoning orders to override local planning decisions.
While MZOs have been around for decades, Premier Doug Ford’s progressive conservative have dramatically increased their use to accelerate development.
“Doug Ford has armed MZOs and is abusing his power to attack our environment and reward the few well-connected,” Del Duca said Tuesday.
“The Ontario Liberals want to scrap MZOs and impose strict rules to protect our environment while building communities responsibly,” he said.
Del Duca said that if he wins the June 2 election, the Liberals would “only allow rapid tracking of critical provincial projects, such as affordable housing and not-for-profit nursing homes.”
Noting that Ford has issued 57 MZOs over the last three years, three times what the Liberals did during their 2003-2018 term in power, he said major “transparency measures” would be introduced to protect the environment and increase local input.
“We desperately need to build more homes in Ontario,” Del Duca admitted.
But he stressed that the province should be able to grow and thrive “without attacking our environment.”
“It’s about sustainable growth to create a better future for all of us,” he said.
Both Ford and Secretary of State Steve Clark have defended his reliance on MZOs, a planning tool that allows him to redevelop a piece of land to accelerate development and circumvent public participation.
IN June, the premiere pointed out that a new joint Milton campus for Conestoga College and Wilfrid Laurier University “was made possible because of our government’s use of the MZOs.”
“We can not wait for all the rules and bureaucracy,” Ford said, insisting that his government get “approval from the municipalities” before continuing.
Critics claim that the Conservatives approve of development projects without adequately assessing their environmental impact.
With the Tories campaign on building of 16.2 km Bradford Bypass and the 60km long Highway 413, two controversial highways that would affect green spaces, farmland and sensitive wetlands, MZOs should be a hot topic in the spring election.
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