‘Peaceful’ rally expected Tuesday at Hamilton-Burlington’s Royal Botanical Gardens for Ford speech

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Published June 24, 2024 at 4:53 pm

Stop Sprawl Hamilton

Stop Sprawl Hamilton is calling on residents of Hamilton and Burlington to come out to the Royal Botanical Gardens Tuesday morning to give Ontario Premier Doug Ford some feedback on Bill 185, with the environmental group promising a “peaceful” rally.

Ford will be the keynote speaker at the Bay Area Economic Summit at the RBG Main Centre on Plains Road in Burlington, with Stop Sprawl Hamilton and its allies encouraging the public to let the Premier know what they think of his party’s legacy of developer-friendly land use policies.

“Join us, and if you have a message for the Premier, bring a sign,” urged Dr. Lynda Lukasik, who said the provincial legislation provides “new challenges” to municipalities who want a firm boundary to prevent urban sprawl. “That legislation effectively takes away the ability of a municipality to say no to a private developer request for boundary expansion.”

Environmental Defence’s Phil Pothen is also hoping for a big turnout Tuesday, with the rally expected at 11:30 a.m.

“Government MPPs could have prevented the wave of scandal, waste and destruction that is now likely to unfold by revising Bill 185 to prevent developer-initiated settlement boundary expansions,” Pothen said, adding that the legislation “effectively ends meaningful, independent oversight” of development approvals outside existing built up areas.

“Ontarians can no longer have any confidence in the integrity of future decisions to extend suburban settlement boundaries, or to replace farms and natural areas with sprawl.

Future governments, he noted, will be tasked with cleaning up the results of Bill 185.

 

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