April 11, 2012
Ministry of Natural Resources
Suite 6630, 6th Floor, Whitney Block
99 Wellesley Street West
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1W3
Dear Minister Gravelle,
I am deeply concerned that the Liberal government is burying significant changes to environmental legislation in an omnibus budget bill — Bill 55.
Bill 55 proposes changes to laws affecting the Ministry of Natural Resources. These laws are prescribed under the Environmental Bill of Rights and include: the Endangered Species Act, the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, the Public Lands Act, the Crown Forest Sustainability Act, the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act, the Ontario Forest Tenure Modernization Act, and the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act.
I believe it is wrong to use the budget bill to avoid posting these laws on the Environmental Registry for public comment. This lack of transparency and public accountability is not right.
I urge your government to remove all references to amendments to Acts administered under the Environmental Bill of Rights from Bill 55.
We deserve the right for public comment on legislation that protects our communities and our natural heritage for ourselves and future generations.
Please do the right thing and act on my request.