by Susan Dick, Hamilton Spectator
I want to point out that Bill 55, which is included as part of the proposed provincial budget, will amend the Endangered Species Act. That doesn’t seem like much, but with the bill as part of the budget, or what they refer to as a budget bill, the government avoids the normal transparency and public input.
Should this bill pass, the minister would be able to excuse from prosecution under the Ontario Endangered Species Act corporations engaged in infrastructure projects including renewable energy (wind turbines), communication systems, electric power systems, oil or gas pipelines, transportation corridors or facilities, waste management systems or water works. These infrastructure projects would be allowed, without our knowledge, to kill, harm or harass any endangered species, to destroy or remove their habitat.
Again, the provincial government is trying to shove something through in the hopes the public will not even be aware, just like they did with the Green Energy Act. I really don’t have anything against renewable energy in theory, but forcing this act on Ontario and taking away our ability to choose has and will be a problem for rural Ontario.
With Bill 55, they will do it again, stripping away our ability to comment and streamlining the process for developers. It is just not right. I ask everyone to contact their local MPP and let them know how you feel. Please do it now. They vote on this bill next week.
Susan Dick, St. Catharines