Grand River environmental group leads local push against Bill 66

Local groups are speaking out against the Ford government's proposed Restoring Ontario's Competitiveness Act.

'This [bill] could have devastating impacts,' says environmental activist

Local environmental groups are concerned about the impact of Bill 66 on local greenery. (Allan Weeks Real Estate Co.)

A local environmental group is urging residents to speak out against new legislation that they say could compromise some of Kitchener-Waterloo's natural resources.

If passed, the Ford government's proposed Restoring Ontario's Competitiveness Act would reduce the number of regulations that businesses must comply with, including legislation put in place to protect Ontario's waters and green spaces.

"This really seems to be a bill that benefits only a handful of big business [and] could impact the quality of life for all citizens in Ontario," Kevin Thomason, vice-chair of the Grand River Environmental Network told CBC K-W.

GREN and other local groups say Bill 66 could compromise local environments, and that a lack of public consultation about it means many Ontarians are left out of the major policy decision.

"I don't know if I've ever seen a bill that benefits so few at the cost of so many," Thomason said.

The group is asking the community to talk to local and provincial officials about the bill and how it could affect them.

The province told CBC K-W in an emailed statement, "we have been clear that we will protect the Greenbelt and will not support proposals in contrast with that commitment."