ERO number: 013-4734
We’ve been asked what we think about the repeal of the Far North Act and there is no short answer. The following reflects our early thinking. We’ll make our full submission public as soon as we are ready to submit.
Since the new Ontario government came into power in 2018, it has adopted the focus of Ontario being Open for Business. Wildlands League has observed major rollbacks or attempted major rollbacks of environmental laws and regulations in Ontario. It is likely we are in the midst of the greatest environmental deregulation exercise the province has ever seen.
There has been repeal of cap and trade on the climate file. The introduction (and subsequent withdrawal) of “open-for-business planning by-laws” that would have exempted land use decisions from environmental safeguards under the Clean Water Act, Great Lakes Protection Act, and Greenbelt Act in municipal planning regimes across Ontario. A public consultation on the review of the Endangered Species Act including a business-focused discussion paper. The creation of a Mining Working Group populated with mining company CEOs with the goal of reducing “regulatory burdens”. And now a public consultation on the repeal of the Far North Act with the explicit intention of removing “restrictions on economic development”.
Which in this case doesn’t just mean repealing environmental regulations but important First Nations controls that exist under provincial law for the area defined as the Far North.
Read rest of statement here.
See comparison chart on Far North Act and Public Lands Act produced by Lintner Law here.