Ontario’s Auditor General has confirmed that Doug Ford ignored her warnings and broke Ontario’s environmental laws yet again, this time by ramming through major environmental changes without public consultation on its omnibus Bill 197.
After concerns raised by NDP Environment critic Ian Arthur, and in an interview with the National Observer, Bonnie Lysyk, Ontario’s Auditor General, confirmed that the government not only broke the law, but that she had warned the government about a week ago that the bill violated environmental law. Knowing it was illegal, Doug Ford’s Conservatives rammed the bill through the process and made it a law on Tuesday, anyway.
“Once again, Doug Ford has been caught breaking the law and undermining critical protections to our environment,” said Arthur. “And this certainly isn’t the first time Ford has been caught breaking Ontario’s environmental laws. Last year a court ruled that Ford violated the Environmental Bill of Rights when he dismantled Ontario’s pollution pricing regime without any consultation.
“Again, Doug Ford has been caught helping developer insiders at the expense of protecting our environment.”
Under Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights, governments are required to consult the public for 30 days on measures that impact the environment. Ford’s Bill 197 makes dangerous changes to Ontario’s environmental assessment process, yet his government failed to hold public consultations on the legislation, and rammed it into law with minimal debate.
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