Bill 23, Greenbelt Threats, & Keeping Hamilton's Urban Boundary FIRM

We have hit 'Situation Critical' with more bad announcements coming from the Ford Government late last week.  In Hamilton, this means that over 1900 acres of protected Greenbelt lands are now at risk of being rolled into a massive urban boundary expansion.  This, despite Hamilton residents and our City Council standing behind a progressive and viable urban growth management plan to freeze our boundary and accommodate growth within our existing urban area.   

Many of you are reaching out and asking what you can do.  We have some immediate suggestions for how you can TAKE ACTION listed here with more details for each action provided below!  

1) RALLY!  Please come out to the next local POP UP RALLY 
2) WRITE/EMAIL/CALL! Take a few minutes to make your views known to your elected representatives.
3) STAY INFORMED! Check out the links to some helpful background reading and watching. 
4) STAY TUNED! There is more to come. Watch for future rallies, workshops, and other actions.  


1) RALLY!! 

    


2) WRITE!  EMAIL!  CALL!

TAKE ACTION: NOW is the time to SPEAK UP about what is happening.  

Bill 23
- the 'More Homes Built Faster' Act was passed in the Ontario Legislature on Monday, November 28th, 2022.  But the fight against the bill is far from over.  Communities continue to organize and municipalities are actively organizing too to push back against the many problematic changes the bill could ultimately bring.  

There are also a number of active postings on the Environmental Registry of Ontario that provide Ontarians with an opportunity to comment on everything from the Ford Government's proposal to remove large chunks of land from the provincial Greenbelt, to its proposal to tear apart Ontario's wetland protection framework.  



Environment Hamilton hosted a virtual workshop on NOVEMBER 28th to help people prepare and submit comments on the Ford Government's proposal to pull lands out of the Greenbelt.  We focused on the impact this proposal will have in Hamilton and what you need to do to submit comments on-line through the Environmental Registry of Ontario.

WATCH THE VIDEO RECORDING OF THE WORKSHOP SESSION:



CLICK HERE to access the slide deck from the workshop.

CLICK HERE to access the 'Action Sheet' that will help you to prepare and submit comments on the registry posting. 

CLICK HERE to access the Environmental Registry posting for the Ford Government's Greenbelt proposal.  

DEADLINE TO SUBMIT COMMENTS = Sunday, December 4th before midnight. 
Please be sure to also share any written comments with you provincial MPP and anyone else in an elected position who you think needs to see it!  

ACTIVE ENVIRONMENTAL REGISTRY POSTINGS & COMMENTING DEADLINES:
There are lots of moving parts to the changes that the Ford Government is foisting on Ontarians through Bill 23 and associated actions.  There are currently six active Environmental Registry of Ontario (ERO) postings that the public can comment on.  The table below sets out the postings & associated comment deadlines.  We have hyperlinked the 'Registry Posting' to the page on the ERO to make it easy for you to access the posting.   

Registry Posting Deadline for Public Comments
Proposed updates to the Ontario Wetland Evaluation System  DEADLINE HAS PASSED
Proposed changes to the Ontario Heritage Act & its regulations DEADLINE HAS PASSED
Proposed amendments to the Greenbelt Plan  December 4th, 2022
Proposed amendments to the Greenbelt Boundary regulation December 4th, 2022
Proposed changes to Ont Reg 299/19 - Additional Residential Units  December 9th, 2022
Proposed changes to the Conservation Authorities Act  December 30th, 2022
Conserving Ontario's Natural Heritage - policy proposal  December 30th, 2022

Please be sure to share any written comments with you provincial MPP and anyone else in an elected position who you think needs to see it!  


CLICK HERE 
to access contact information for all sitting Ontario MPPs.

Not sure what to say?  
Check out the helpful list of additional resources provided in our STAY INFORMED section below!  And don't forget to also speak from the heart as a resident of Hamilton and as a resident of Ontario.  This government has put our community's plans for a climate resilient, inclusive future at risk and we need to speak out!


3) STAY INFORMED!
Here are some useful analyses and resources worth exploring to stay informed about what is happening!  

WRITTEN ANALYSES OF BILL 23:

CLICK HERE to access a summary overview and a detailed analysis of Bill 23 prepared by Phil Pothen from Environmental Defence. 

CLICK HERE to access the analysis of Bill 23 prepared by the Canadian Environmental Law Association.  

CLICK HERE to access the backgrounder on Bill 23 prepared by Ontario Nature.


WEBINAR RECORDINGS:

CLICK HERE to access the video recording of the recent webinar - 'Bait & Switch - Understanding Bill 23 - the 'More Sprawl, Fewer Wetlands' Act'.  Note that this webinar took place after the additional devastating announcement from the Ford Government about the Greenbelt and Hamilton's firm urban boundary so these issues are also discussed in this session.

CLICK HERE to access the video recording of the recent webinar Bill 23, Why You Should Care hosted by 50 by 2030 Waterloo Region.  
 
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES & INFORMATION:
 

CLICK HERE to learn more about how Bill 23 puts municipal Green Development Standards at risk.  We have been advocating for our own City of Hamilton to develop such standards moving forward, but the Ford Governments actions via this bill likely put these efforts in jeopardy.  Consider signing on to the CALL TO ACTION from our friends at The Atmospheric Fund. 

CLICK HERE  
to acccess the Narwhal article 'All the Ontario environmental protections Doug Ford wants to overhaul to build more houses'

CLICK HERE to listen to Hamilton City Councillor Maureen Wilson on CBC's Metro Morning, speaking about the Ford Government undoing Hamilton's FIRM urban boundary and why this provincial decision is so problematic.  

CLICK HERE to listen to local farmer and Ontario Federation of Agriculture executive Drew Spoelstra on CBC's Metro Morning, speaking about why the Ford Government announcements are so harmful for food security and local farming.  


4) STAY TUNED! 

There will be more rallies, workshops, and other actions emerging in the coming days and weeks.  We will work hard to keep you informed!  If you are not yet an Environment Hamilton member please JOIN US!  Membership is free and we will keep you informed via member e-blasts.  CLICK HERE to join EH! 

We also recommend, if you haven't already, that you sign up to receive email updates from our friends at Stop Sprawl HamOnt.  CLICK HERE to sign up for their email updates.  



Note  also that there are a number of active postings on the provincial Environmental Registry.  Environment Hamilton is planning to host at least one virtual session to help Hamiltonians to prepare and submit comments on these postings.  Stay tuned for more details on this effort!


Check out this great video prepared by Hamiltonian Wayne MacPhail, who asked a number of people why they were compelled to rally with us at Dundurn Castle.