Ottawa/Queen's Park




RE: Bill 23

Dear Rick,

We would like to voice our opposition to Bill 23, the proposed More Homes Built Faster Act. The Grey Bruce Climate Action Network (GBCAN) is a network of eleven municipally-focused Climate Action Teams that support our municipalities to both learn about and take action to mitigate the climate crisis in our rural communities.

While housing availability and affordability is top of mind in our communities as in others in Ontario, our reasons for opposing this Bill are related to the climate, and biodiversity and food crises. Unless this Bill can be amended to adequately protect our environment it is an unacceptable and irresponsible piece of legislation.

We believe that as it is, Bill 23 will put our province and our region deeper into the biodiversity, climate, housing, affordability, food, and health crises. It is critical that we use a climate lens when addressing the housing crisis in Ontario so that development is aligned with climate mitigation and adaptation practices. The most glaringly unacceptable feature of this Bill and its associated policy proposals is an attack on Conservation Authorities, that will enable the destruction of forests, farmland, and wetlands in favor of urban sprawl.

Forests, farmland and wetlands are critical carbon sinks. Without them, we are much more susceptible to the impacts of climate change such as heat island effects, drought and flooding. In recent years, we have seen the terrible consequences of the lack of this kind of planning in other Canadian communities.

Under the proposed Bill, our emissions will increase due to the release of stored carbon dioxide, and as promoting more urban sprawl will increase dependence on personal automobile transportation.

The ecosystem services provided by forests, farmland, and wetlands, such as biodiversity, cleaning the air and regulating and attenuating water and nutrients, have not been considered in the tabling of this legislation. Further, decimating the powers of the Conservation Authorities will increase the risk of massive flooding and rampant sprawl in flood-prone areas. When these areas are impacted by extreme weather events, the municipalities and taxpayers will be left with skyrocketing costs.

A forward-looking Ontario would be investing in nature-based climate solutions to protect current housing stock and develop green building standards for new developments. It would be encouraging and protecting farmland and local food production. The reasons for eating local food have never been stronger and are becoming even more apparent with a changing climate and disrupted supply chains. We need to be investing in our local food systems, not destroying them.

For the Grey Bruce Climate Action Network






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