Bill 23: Mike James encourages new Niagara-on-the-Lake Council to follow the lead of Town of Grimsby in speaking out against the bill in its current state

Mike James of Niagara-on-the-Lake has submitted a letter to the editor of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Local regarding a Nov. 23, 2022 article by Mike Balsom entitled: “It’s official: New council sworn in at inaugural meeting.”

The letter reads:

Dear Editor:

I read with interest Mike Balsom’s report on the swearing-in ceremony of our new Lord Mayor and town councillors in your November 23rd edition of the Local.

In that article, the Lord Mayor identified the following priority: “(Additionally,) we must raise our profile with other governments, in Niagara, at Queen’s Park and in Ottawa, making sure that what is important to you is communicated to these governments.”

Since that time Premier Ford’s government has introduced, and passed, the legislative act known as Bill 23. This bill will have significant impact on the future of our community for the foreseeable future, and consistent criticism and concern of the implications of this measure have come from sources as diverse as the national print media ( the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star), and from Mayors and town councils such as our neighbours in Grimsby, who under the leadership of Mayor Jeff Jordan, unanimously issued the following statement:

“The Town of Grimsby does not endorse Bill 23 in its current state and requests that the Ontario Provincial Government withdraw and/or extend the comment period for feedback on potential legislative, regulatory, policy and other charges, to allow for full municipal participation”

I would respectfully ask that the Lord Mayor and Council issue a statement clearly stating their position on this legislation, as their current silence does not meet the promised standard of “making sure that what is important to you is communicated to these governments”.

Mike James

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