While Ontarians continue to deal with the social and economic impacts of COVID-19, the PC government continues to quietly utilize the Minister's Zoning Order (MZO) to allow for development projects to proceed without public consultation or the right to appeal.
Since coming into power in 2018 the PC Government has utilized the Minister's Zoning Order 22 times! That is more than their Liberal predecessors did over their entire last decade in office.
Since the enactment of Bill 197, COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, 2020 on July 21, 2020 the Minister's Zoning Order (MZO) has been wielded by Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark an additional 8 times! Review the MZO approvals here.
Minister’s zoning orders (MZO), allow Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark to make a final ruling on how a piece of land is used in the province with no appeals, such as those from citizens or environmental groups before Ontario’s Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. Bill 197 will now allow the Minister to reach deeply into the planning process at the level of the details of a specific project and site, thereby overruling decisions by municipal council and planning staff.
According to a Globe and Mail article the Ford government started issuing MZOs last year, after it scrapped a contentious bill that would have allowed municipalities to request the right to pass “open for business” bylaws exempting local projects from various provincial rules, including environmental laws and those protecting the development-free Greenbelt area.