At our Jan. 10th meeting, Julie Lamberts provided a brief summary of Bill 66.
For those wanting to learn more, Ontario Nature has a wealth of information on their website, and has asked its member groups to spread the word. Their brief version and timeline:
Dear Great Lakes West Nature Network Members,
As most of you are likely aware, Bill 66 (Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act) passed first reading on December 6th, 2018. If passed, this legislation would trump critical environmental protections for land, water and wildlife throughout Ontario. There is a serious misconception that the overriding of environmental protections that this Bill enables is confined largely to the Greater Golden Horseshoe Greenbelt and surrounding areas. This is not true. It affects all municipalities in Ontario and all of your communities.
There are some very important deadlines that you should be aware of:
• January 20th: Deadline for comments on Bill 66 through the Environmental Registry for Ontario (ERO postings were previously referred to as EBR postings).
• Bill 66 is on the order paper for second reading on February 19th when the Legislature returns.
• After passing second reading, Bill 66 goes to committee. So the anticipated third reading and passage of the Bill is early March.
Ontario Nature has a blog post summarizing the concerns, Bill 66: What You Need to Know, which includes a link to a form letter you can sign (and modify to your liking) which will be sent to the relevent politicians. Additionally, they have a PDF flyer of Bill 66: What You Need to Know that you can print out or email to spread the word and their draft comments on Bill 66.