The current Ontario government, led by Premier Doug Ford, has issued at least 35 Ministerial Zoning Orders (MZOs) since coming to power in 2018 — far more than the previous government issued in its 15 years in power.
What's an MZO?
It's a move that allows Ontario's Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing override local planning. They get to decide how land can be used. There is no obligation on the part of the provincial government to include community in deciding what is to go there. Local municipal governments and communities have no say and no right of appeal.
And that is a HUGE problem.
This means that the government can offer developer-donors plum properties and no headache of municipal zoning issues to contend with. All community consultation is bypassed.
Moreover, this government passed a COVID-19 economic relief bill that included a section strengthening the ministry's authority to approve projects. And a budget bill passed in December also expanded their power. At this point, conservation authorities are REQUIRED to approve any development subject to an MZO.
In October 2020, Minister Steve Clark issued a Ministerial Zoning Order (MZO) concerning three parcels of land in the West Don Lands area of downtown Toronto. Two were projects already under way, with plans in place. But the third one is the provincially-owned Block 17/26 on which four Heritage buildings stand: the century-old Dominion Wheel & Foundries site. No developer or plan has been identified.
No consultation. No appeal.
Please join us! We are fighting to force this government to stop moving forward with this project and to sit down with the City of Toronto and the local community to discuss the future of this property. Your support, and the support of all concerned citizens of Ontario, is needed!