When hundreds of Ontarians unite to protect the environment, great things can happen. We saw an excellent example of this just this week. We asked our supporters on Facebook to raise their voice and urge Ontario MPPs to quit stalling four critically important pieces of environmental legislation. Guess what? The Ontario legislature responded.
Together, our voices made a difference. On Tuesday, the majority of Ontario MPPs voted to approve a motion that will set timetables for passing critical environmental legislation.
Thanks to the hundreds of people who sent letters, Ontario has committed to swiftly passing bills that will protect the Great Lakes, ban coal-fired electricity, improve invasive species defences, and protect free speech. Thank you to everyone who raised your voice!
While we support healthy debate, it’s time to get these bills passed. The Great Lakes Protection Act was first introduced three years ago and it’s still being debated. Committing to a timeline doesn’t mean there’s no room for debate. It just means that the business of parliament will be conducted in a timely manner.
And with the help of our supporters, we’ve already seen progress! Yesterday, the Great Lakes Protection Act passed second reading. That means that the government can start public hearings and decide on amendments to the bill first thing when MPPs return in the fall. So we’re closer to protecting our Great Lakes, a source of drinking water for millions of Canadians.
This means that in the fall, we’ll finally get some closure on the following critical bills:
- Bill 66, the Great Lakes Protection Act – to strengthen the protection of the source of drinking water for 80 per cent of Ontarians
- Bill 138, Ending Coal for Cleaner Air Act – to permanently ban coal-fired electricity from the province, making Ontario the first jurisdiction in North America to do so
- Bill 167, Invasive Species Act – to give government new powers to prevent invasive species from being introduced in the first place and to react quickly at the first sign of any new introductions
- Bill 83, Protection of Public Participation Act – protect Ontario residents from damaging and frivolous lawsuits, when they opposed development proposals or industry activities in their backyards.
Thank you again to all of you who raised your voice and told the three house leaders of Ontario’s political parties to commit to a timeline for passing these bills. You helped make change happen! If we keep working together, we can make sure that other great things happen, like a ban on microbeads, and stopping the Energy East pipeline.
Be sure to sign up for Defender News to learn about what else you can do to keep environmental issues on the agenda of our elected officials.