Nov. 3, 2022 Narwhal article: ‘All the Ontario environmental protections Doug Ford wants to overhaul to build more houses’

The subhead to the above-titled article by Fatima Syed and Emma McIntosh reads: “Aiming to reduce developers’ ‘regulatory obligations’ around Ontario’s parks, protected spaces and wetlands, the Ford government also wants to limit residents’ ability to object.”

The opening paragraphs read:

Doug Ford’s government proceeded with a controversial plan to rapidly expand housing construction, despite receiving “confidential” warnings from public servants about sweeping environmental risks to parks, wetlands, conservation areas, farms and Indigenous territory.

The warnings — included in an internal 117-page cabinet document marked “confidential” — shows an extensive list of concerns shared with Ontario’s 30 ministers ahead of the tabling of Bill 23, or the More Homes Built Faster Act. Along with numerous environmental impacts, they were alerted of the damaging implications of limiting who can challenge development as well as infringing on Indigneous rights and undermining municipal climate plans.

Initial details about the leaked internal document were first reported by QP Briefing. The document was sent to The Narwhal by multiple stakeholders, some of whom received it directly from government officials. It shows Ford’s government put significant weight into winning support for the bill from developers by moving to lessen obligations to build parks, protect watersheds and more.

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