The Town of Caledon and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN) share concerns about Bill 23: More Homes Built Faster Act and its impacts.
This bill proposes changes that will severely impact environmental protection and heritage preservation. The Province has amended the Greenbelt Plan and re-designated lands in the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, anticipating future development of at least 50,000 new homes on the affected lands. These changes may impact key natural features in the Greenbelt, affect farmland and ecosystems and set a precedent that environmentally protected lands can be opened for development. Changes to the Ontario Heritage Act impact the ability of municipalities to protect their cultural heritage resources, eroding their identity and sense of place.
In addition to these concerns is the lack of consultation with Indigenous communities, specifically MCFN, who have deep relationships with these lands. Bill 23 removes the provincial government’s duty to consult with and accommodate Indigenous Peoples, impacting MCFN’s Treaty rights, obligations and land claims.
At the January 2023 Rural Ontario Municipal Association Conference, Mayor Groves raised these issues and advocated on behalf of the Town and MCFN to The Honourable Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
Together, the Town of Caledon and MCFN expect that the Province provide opportunities for consultation. “The Province must consult and collaborate with the Mississaugas of the Credit, other Indigenous communities and Ontario municipalities,” said Chief R. Stacey LaForme of the MCFN. “The government has obligations to the people and our mother the earth.”
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