MPP Hunter and MPP Collard call for Bill 229 Amendments

  • Provincial News

Today Mitzie Hunter MPP Scarborough-Guildwood and Lucille Collard MPP Ottawa-Vanier issued the following joint statement:
“Once again, this government is trying to push through substantial policy changes in an omnibus budget bill with little to no opportunity for public consultation or legislative scrutiny.
“Today, members of the Ontario Liberal caucus will be proposing amendments to Bill 229 that would remove Schedule 6, Schedule 8, and sections 4 and 5 of Schedule 22 from Bill 229. We are calling on the government and opposition to remove these proposals from Bill 229 in order to provide the opportunity for balanced review.
“Schedule 6 would limit the authority of Conservation Authorities to fulfill their mandate to protect environmentally-sensitive areas. The proposed changes would be disastrous for flood prevention and harm provincially-significant wetlands. Ontario’s 36 Conservation Authorities were not consulted and overwhelmingly reject Ministerial interference in their work. Schedule is an assault on environmental sustainability. 

“Schedule 8 would provide an exemption for the forest industry which would allow them to capture, harass and kill endangered species. This schedule is extremely concerning. The government needs to protect endangered species and Ontario’s biodiversity instead of continuing on the path of weakening conservation efforts in favour of industry. We need to account for these species’ loss, which is the point of monitoring and tracking. 
“Sections 4 and 5 of Schedule 22 would take away retirement security from approximately 250 000 seniors who hold Universal Life Policies as investment instruments. In the midst of a pandemic, under the cover of a pandemic budget, the government is paying favours to the insurance industry by interfering in the terms of decades-old contracts instead of making sure that seniors are financially secure.
“Committee review is an important tool to thoroughly examine the content and impacts of legislation, but the government is rushing the process. Public hearings have been extremely limited. There has been a severe lack of meaningful consultation both prior to and following the introduction of this budget. Schedule 6, Schedule 8, and sections 4 and 5 of Schedule 22 must be removed from Bill 229 in order to protect the future health and security of Ontarians.