Ministerial Zoning Orders
Also known as "MZO"
The Provincial Government has been issuing Ministerial Zoning Orders (MZO) in our Region to the developers and companies that benefit from these MZOs as though they were handing out Halloween candy. These MZOs have absolutely no regard or respect for our citizens and residents, they are undemocratic, and they circumvent public engagement. It lacks accountability and transparency. I have never supported an MZO.
An initiative of organizations called "Ontario, Yours To Protect" is supporting clean water, farmland, biodiversity, and healthy communities. They correctly state that a "Minister's Zoning Order (MZO) is meant for situations of extraordinary urgency. It overrides local planning authority to approve development without expert analysis, public input, or any chance of appeal. Since taking office, the current Ontario Government has been issuing MZOs at an extraordinary rate to impose low-density sprawl and other risky development on wetlands and other protected lands. The present government has issued more MZOs than all the governments from 1995 to 2018 combined!" This last line is a stunning revelation. There have been more MZOs handed out in three years than all MZOs issued by the previous five Provincial Governments is definitely concerning. I believe that our local residents have the good sense to plan our own communities based on our own needs.
The Provincial Government has suggested that MZOs are needed for more affordable housing and ICU beds. Creating affordable housing or Urgent Care Centres is something I believe we can all support; however, all of the MZOs that Caledon's Town Council has supported have nothing to do with affordable housing or health care spaces but are for development like the Amazon Warehouses and urban sprawl. MZOs for warehouses is something that the Community of Caledon knows all too well, and I have never supported turning Caledon into an Urban Freight Village.
The current use of MZOs cannot be called fair or democratic. As Mayor of Caledon, I would advocate for and support putting forth a motion at Caledon's Town Council asking the Provincial Government to respect the wishes of our Local Community. I will also be calling for an open and transparent discussion about MZOs at Town Council. This motion should be debated openly and allow the public to be part of that discussion.
I have always supported standing up for the rights and wishes of the people of Caledon and asking other levels of government to respect the decisions of our community and let our local processes be completed before decisions are made, especially when the MZO favours private developers with little to no benefit for our residents. As Mayor, I will advocate for an overhaul of the MZO policy at the Town level. I believe we need to replace the MZO with narrower, transparent, with clear rules that do not disregard environmental and local public consultations.