Brock council fighting the ‘good fight’ against Bill 66

Brock Township council has taken a stand against provincial bill that critics fear will have an impact on the environment.

Bill 66, dubbed the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, would amend several pieces of legislation in an attempt to spur economic development and create new jobs.

As it stands, Section 10 of Bill 66 would grant municipalities the authority to pass an open-for-business bylaw – with provincial approval – that could fast-track development that leads to employment opportunities.

After speaking out about the legislation earlier this month, Mayor Debbie Bath-Hadden put forward a lengthy motion at Monday’s (Jan. 21) planning and economic development committee meeting stating that the municipality would not invoke such a bylaw.

“The provincial government is supporting private corporations…and throwing municipalities under the bus,” she said.

Mayor Bath-Hadden said that council should “fight the good fight” and oppose the Section 10 provisions.

“Brock Township is open for business but we are not open to that type of business,” she added, noting that existing provincial regulations were put in place to protect the community and the environment.

The motion, which will be submitted to the Province within the window for municipal consultation, also requests that Section 10 include public consultation prior to the approval of Bill 66.

It was met with unanimous support.

“We need sustainable development that is planned well…this could put Lake Simcoe at risk,” said Ward 1 Councillor Mike Jubb.

Ward 3 Councillor Walter Schummer noted that a number of municipalities have passed motions voicing similar concerns but questioned the wordiness of the Township’s offering.

“I’d be more comfortable with it saying we won’t bring a bylaw forward. Period.”

A staff report on the planning implications of Bill 66 was not expected until next month.

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