Proposed Richmond Hill Motion in Response to Bill 66

We have been committed to protecting our natural areas in Richmond Hill, especially the natural legacy of the Oak Ridges Moraine. On Monday December 17th, I will be introducing the following motion to Richmond Hill Council as a Time Sensitive Matter in order to gather specific information related to potential impacts of this provincial government proposal and also to provide an official Council comment back to the provincial government on this bill.

If anyone has any comments related to this issue please feel free to send them to me by email at [email protected] I will share these with the Clerk so that they can be a part of the Council meeting agenda and minutes.

 

In Response to Bill 66: Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018

Preamble:

Richmond Hill welcomes the opportunity to work in partnership with our newly elected Provincial Government under the leadership of Premier Doug Ford. 

As always, Richmond Hill appreciates our ongoing working relationships with the Province, all industries, conservation authorities, other municipalities and the citizens of the Town of Richmond Hill in order to support and enhance the high quality of life expected by our Town and Region.

Various governmental departments in Richmond Hill and across York Region are engaged in attracting business and finding government efficiencies to assist in the development of our local economy. We do this in partnership.

The Premier of Ontario submitted Bill 66, to the EBR (Environmental Bill of Rights) website for public consideration on Thursday, December 6, 2018. We have until January 20, 2019 (45 days from submission) to respond.

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Whereas Richmond Hill is located on the Oak Ridges Moraine (ORM); a Provincially significant land mass with vital hydro-geological value (The ORM in Richmond Hill filters, stores, and directs rainwater to Lake Ontario as well as Lake Simcoe. It is known as the ‘rain barrel of Ontario’), 

Whereas Richmond Hill is located on the headwaters of the three major rivers namely the Humber, Don, and the Rouge which provide drinking water to Lake Ontario and to the people and businesses of the Province and the importance of this crucial natural resource is widely recognized,

Whereas Richmond Hill and York Region appreciate protective environmental laws enacted by the Province of Ontario which include but are not limited to: the Clean Water Act (2006), the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act (2001), and the Greenbelt Act (2005),

Whereas on December 6, 2018 (just before the provincial recess began), the Province of Ontario proposed ‘Bill 66: Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act 2018’ and submitted Bill 66 to the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) website allowing 45 days of public comment. The EBR website receives responses from the public, including major stakeholders like BILD, to be “*considered as part of the decision-making process by the Ministry.” (EBR website quote).

Whereas Bill 66 makes reference to each one of the protective environmental laws governing development in Richmond Hill and across the Province,

Whereas Richmond Hill residents and taxpayers continue to share their support for our natural environment and the Provincial laws which protect our environment, 

Therefore Be It Resolved That: Staff prepare a report before Jan. 20th, summarizing the proposed environmental changes in ‘Bill 66: Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018’, with a recommended response to the Environmental Bill of Rights’ (EBR) website for consideration by Committee.

Be it Further Resolved that the Mayor will hold a Special Meeting of Council (or add this item to the agenda of an existing Special Council meeting that is scheduled within the appropriate timeframe to submit comments to the EBR website) to receive the staff report and provide Council’s response to the Environmental Bill of Rights Website before the January 20th deadline for comments. 
A copy of Council’s response will be sent to the Premier, Leader of the Official Opposition, MPPs for York Region, and the Minister of the Environment for the Province of Ontario.