In the media: Nandita Basu says Bill 66 threatens the environment

Friday, December 21, 2018

Proposed bill could lead to policy patchwork in Ontario endangering environmental protections and public health

UW associate professor Nandita Basu says Bill 66 threatens the environment by allowing municipalities to bypass policies and acts protecting water and land.

in the media buttonThis article was written by James Jackson for the Waterloo Region Record. 

Allowing municipalities to bypass key provincial planning and environmental protection acts could create an unco-ordinated patchwork of policies that put other cities and towns at risk, says a University of Waterloo water expert.

Last week, the Progressive Conservative government introduced Bill 66, the Restoring Ontario's Competitiveness Act, which gives municipalities the power to create an "open for business" bylaw that would exempt cities and towns from sections of more than a dozen policies and acts to promote new development.

That includes the Clean Water Act, the Great Lakes Protection Act, the Lake Simcoe Protection Act and the Greenbelt Act, among others.

UW associate professor Nandita Basu says even municipalities that choose not to participate in the bylaw could still be negatively impacted if other nearby communities do and it leads to water or ground contamination.

nandita basu water institute"The fact [that] this bill has the potential to take a lot of these protections away is something that is really concerning," said Basu, who studies the role humans play in modifying water quality through land-use practices and the changing climate.

 Read the full article here.

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