Environmental groups from Pickering to Bowmanville preparing for battle over Bill-23

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Published November 28, 2022 at 3:28 pm

While the controversial Bill-23 gained its expected approval in the legislature Monday, environmental organizations and community groups are gearing up for battle, with the future of the greenbelt and Ontario’s prime agricultural lands at stake.

Grassroots organizers from all across Ontario have been holding rallies at MPPs’ offices for weeks now – since the Bill was first proposed, in fact – and have no plans to stop even though the legislation has been enshrined in law.

“Wetlands, forests, conservation Lands and the Greenbelt are all under threat,” claimed Environmental Defence, one of the lead environmental groups in the fight.  “Only a major outpouring of public opposition can stop these dangerous attacks on Ontario’s environment.”

Rallies were held November 19 at Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy’s Pickering office (organized by Rouge Duffins Greenspace Coalition, Stop Sprawl Durham and Environmental Action Now Ajax Pickering); November 25 at Ajax MPP Parice Bernier’s Ajax office; and November 26 at Whitby MPP Lorne Coe’s office.

Upcoming is a rally December 2 at the Bowmanville office of Durham MPP Todd McCarthy.

Environmental Defence, who say the legislation will be a “death sentence” for the greenbelt and a “Trojan Horse for environmentally catastrophic rural sprawl,” says now is the time to tell the provincial government “hands off the Greenbelt,” adding that the protests are leading up to a “weekend of action” December 3 and 4.

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