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Protecting Our Treasure

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MZOs (Ministerial Zoning Orders)

  • Doug Ford is abusing MZOs to push through his pro-sprawl, anti-environmental agenda

  • MZOs should be used sparingly, in exceptional circumstances 

  • Doug Ford is weaponizing MZOs to fast-track environmentally destructive developments that are in the interest of developers and not the people of Ontario or the planet. 

  • This government is abusing MZOs to avoid public consultations and silence the voices of local citizens and municipalities.

  • Ford is running a pay to play scheme with his developer friends. 

  • MZOs should be the exception and not the rule.

  • The government is throwing out decades of important planning laws and concentrating power in the hands of the Minister by supercharging MZOs.

  • Ford is using MZOs to force through projects that will pave over wetlands, greenspaces, farmlands and other environmentally sensitive areas.


Designed to accelerate emergency projects, an MZO outside of a serviced urban area invites chaos; taking an orderly and transparent planning process, designed to achieve community benefits, and incinerating it. Staff and priorities are shuffled from projects already in the queue. Landowners waiting patiently for consideration by staff are penalized. This chaos costs time, time costs money, and what was supposed to be a tool for cutting so-called red tape in actual fact makes a whole lot more of it. Local taxpayers fund the professional services in our cities and at the Region. MZOs cut the expertise of staff out of the process and in turn waste hours, days, years spent on previously assembled plans. This is especially true for water/waste water servicing where careful cost analysis deeply informs the timelines on when infrastructure investments are initiated. The perceived short term benefit of MZOs in many cases does not outweigh the longterm cost of the chaos it creates. MZOs need to be the exception and not the rule. Indeed streamlining development proposals can be examined, but not at the expense of our natural heritage and farmland, and the total abandonment of meaningful public engagement and due process.

General advice for citizens:

1) Reject highway-driven urbanization
2) Reject proposals which threaten our protected places and valuable ecosystem services
3) Restore conservation authorities to advance independent science and sound data to guide decisions
4) Participate in your local government's projects. The best value for money tool to fight climate change is limiting urban expansion. Less cost to decarbonize and fewer big (tax payer funded) infrastructure projects needed to protect us from climate disasters. 

Rather than wasting resources paving over farms, forests and wetlands to super-size sprawl development, let’s build towards neighbourhoods where we can live, work and play.

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Our Concerns on Highway 413

Positions, Principles and Priorities

  • Highway 413 needs to be fully canceled.

  • It’s an ill-advised project that will increase sprawl and emissions, threaten food security, pave over wetlands and cost taxpayers billions of dollars.

  • We should invest in affordable and accessible transit instead.

  • Highway 413 is a gift for Ford’s rich investor friends who own farmland that would be in the path of the new highway.

  • Greens have been leading the fight against Highway 413 since summer 2020 and will continue to call on Ford to cancel this reckless highway

  • Ford claims to be protecting the Greenbelt, but then is planning to run a Highway directly through it

  • We need to invest in connected, affordable and sustainable communities — not more endless sprawl and highways.

  • 413 will cost billions of dollars, pump tons of GHG emissions into the air we breathe and save a grand total of 30-60 seconds off the existing commute.

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Rethink: Holland Marsh Highway (a.k.a. The Bradford Bypass)

  • Holland Marsh Highway should be canceled

  • We should invest in accessible, affordable transit instead

  • We don’t need more four-lane highways and cars on the road that pump emissions into the air. And we definitely don’t need more highways that run directly through the Greenbelt, pave over the Holland Marsh, and threaten the already at-risk Lake Simcoe.

  • Under the guise of COVID, Ford has been pushing through his environmentally destructive agenda. And this highway is yet another example.

  • The Holland Marsh is one of the most fertile areas in all of Canada, and this highway will threaten Ontario’s food security.

  • We need to invest in transportation infrastructure to meet the needs of Ontario’s growing population, but we need to do it through smart, affordable and electrified transit — not reckless highways.

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