Bill 66: Are you committed to farmland protection?
Agricultural groups across the province are very concerned with Bill 66, Schedule 10. It was tabled by the provincial government in December and has passed first reading.
Why the concern? Because it would allow municipalities to pass "open for business" bylaws that could lead to development of prime farmland in order to "reduce red tape" and create jobs - without any public consultation, without regard to any planning laws or water protection and with no right of appeal. Developers and speculators will benefit - but will the public? Farm organizations believe that jobs are created by building on properly zoned lands, and by supporting agriculture on prime farmland, which creates jobs along the entire food chain.
If you believe that farmland protection is not "red tape", consider signing the petition created by Environmental Defense. It includes the following statement in support of agriculture:
“Protected farmland supplies local food and enhances food security at a time when prices are rising and supplies from other countries are increasingly threatened. Farming is also economically important and provides jobs to thousands. Sprawl onto farmland destroys farm businesses and farm communities.”
You can read and sign the petition here: https://act.environmentaldefence.ca/page/36530/action/1
and/or make a comment on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry by Sunday January 20 here: https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/013-4125
Ontario Farmland Trust made their EBR submission public this week: https://ontariofarmlandtrust.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/OntarioFarmlandTrust_EBR-013-4293.pdf and we look forward to other agricultural organizations doing the same soon.
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