NOTL Local newspaper shares news update regarding Niagara- on-the-Lake response to Bill 23

The most recent submission of a letter to the editor of the NOTL Local from NOTL resident Mike James reads:

I would like to thank the NOTL Local, and specifically Penny Coles, for their assistance in helping me obtain the report containing the town’s response to Bill 23, which was evidently completed on November 23rd.

The report, signed by CAO Marnie Cluckie, planning director Kirsten McCauley, and corporate services director Kyle Freeborn, is well written and clearly outlines the dangers, both economic and environmental, that our town faces with the implementation of this bill in its current form, and is a compliment to their collective abilities. It is included in the December 13th Committee of the Whole meeting agenda:

That being said, finding the report would tax the skills of even Howard Carter, on this the 100th anniversary of his discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb. The town website was of no assistance if you entered the search term “Bill 23”, and I am unaware of any public announcement or press release in either print or social media indicating that the town’s response was complete and publicly available, prior to the publication of the December 13th meeting agenda.

Given the significant impact of this legislation, and the current level of public debate, the lack of notification by the town on the availability of this report is concerning. Effective communication is essential to building an informed community, and I would ask that the Council, along with staff, review the process that led to this oversight to avoid future repetition.


Mike James

The story so far

A previous post is entitled:

Town, Lord Mayor respond to Bill 23 concerns – Dec. 7, 2022 Niagara-on-the-Lake Local article

A previous post features an earlier letter to the editor from Mike James:

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

The following posts document three previous responses to Bill 23 as of November 2022:

Submission of Nov. 4, 2022 from Niagara Peninsula Conservation regarding Bill 23December 6, 2022

Niagara Region’s written submission of Nov. 17, 2022 regarding Bill 23

Text of Nov. 23, 2022 submission from Niagara-on-the-Lake Chief Administrative Officer regarding Bill 23

Note 1: Dec. 14, 2022 update from Environmental Defence. [1]

Also of interest: Narwhal article highlights concerns expressed by Ontario builders and developers regarding Bill 23

A Dec. 8, 2022 Narwhal article by Fatima Syed is entitled: “Homebuilders urge Ontario government to be ‘cautious’ with conservation authority: A letter obtained by The Narwhal shows builders and developers are concerned that Bill 23 will limit access to technical environmental expertise.”

An excerpt (I have omitted embedded links) reads:

When the Ontario government announced its most recent housing bill in October, a lobby group for the residential construction industry immediately declared its “support” for the “bold” plan to get More Homes Built Faster.

Now, that same group — the Building Industry and Land Development Association, or BILD, which represents more than 1,300 companies — is adding a major caveat to its support.

The housing legislation severely reduces the powers of conservation authorities, Ontario’s unique watershed management agencies that aim to ensure development doesn’t worsen flooding or its impacts. In a letter sent to the province’s environmental registry, the development group urged the government to be more “cautious” before making these changes.

Warning of “unintended consequences,” the association is asking the province to ensure that any changes in responsibility and oversight in Ontario’s development process are clear and “consistent” — a word that appears in the 10-page letter over a dozen times.

1 reply
  1. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Note 1

    A Dec. 14, 2022 news release from Environmental Defence and Democracy Watch is entitled: “Environmental Defence and Democracy Watch call for OPP investigation of insider information leaks to sprawl developers in advance of Greenbelt land removals.”

    An excerpt reads:

    “The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that it damages our democracy if a situation even appears to raise questions about the integrity of a government policy-making process, and that law enforcement must be strict and strong to prevent this damage, so given the Greenbelt policy change smells badly, the OPP must investigate,” said Duff Conacher, Co-founder of Democracy Watch.

    ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE ( Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.

    ABOUT DEMOCRACY WATCH ( Cleaning up and making governments and corporations more accountable to you, and making Canada the world’s leading democracy.


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