There have been a lot of discussions lately around the government’s use of Ministerial Zoning Orders. These are directives that allow the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to decide how a parcel of land can be used, overriding local planning and existing zoning rules. Due to the importance of consultation and consideration for environmental impacts in development, they are typically only used when they are absolutely needed. However, the government has used them 42 times in three years. They have also introduced Bill 257, a piece of legislation that would grant unchecked power to allow the destruction of protected farmland, wetlands and natural features to occur on a whim. You can read more on the issue here.
As the Critic for Environment, Conservation and Parks, and as the mother of four children that will be impacted by our failure to protect the environment, this issue has been top of mind for me. You can view my two questions to the government, as well as my remarks on Bill 257 below.