This week, Council deliberated on several matters including my Motion regarding Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018. This proposed legislation is of great concern as the proposed changes to the Planning Act contained within Bill 66 would allow municipalities to pass “open for business” planning bylaws that would bypass important environmental legislation such as the Greenbelt Act, Clean Water Act as well as the Official Plan and applicable Zoning . I have made clear that I would not be in favour of creating an “Open for Business” bylaw and I am glad that Council shared my opinion. While we in Aurora are always looking at ways in which we can bring new employment to the Town and Region, but not at the expense of the environment or the safety of our residents. Council made a unanimous decision to approve my motion to send the Provincial government a message that Aurora opposes the proposed changes to the Planning act within Bill 66 .
Our motion will be sent to not only all MPP’s but to every municipality in Ontario as a well as the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO). Just as we did when we worked towards the successful reform of the OMB, by working with all elected officials across the Province we can achieve positive results and ensure that our environment is protected now and in the future.
I will be meeting with both of our MPP’s – MPP Michael Parsa and Deputy Premier Christine Elliot – to discuss this issue and make clear the opposition that we as a community have with Bill 66.