New development bill raises concerns of another Walkerton water disaster
Scott Miller, CTV London
Published Tuesday, December 11, 2018 5:50PM EST
Bruce Davidson says he’s distressed by provisions in the provincial government’s proposed Bill 66 that could allow for environmental protections to be “bypassed” in the name of development.
Davidson lived through the Walkerton water disaster 18 years ago that saw E. coli in the town's water kill seven people and make more than 2,500 ill.
The Clean Water Act was created in the wake of the situation in Walkerton and any thought to meddle with it to spawn development “is really the wrong way to go,” says Davidson.
A part of Bill 66 would allow for 'Open for Business Planning' bylaws, where if a factory or development had municipal and provincial approval and created between 50-100 jobs, certain environmental protections could be bypassed.
But Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson said in a statement the proposed bill, “does not not override any environmental, health or safety protocols. When bringing these proposals forward, municipalities must explicitly outline which regulations or provincial policies will be impacted and how they will mitigate to ensure environmental, health and safety are upheld.”
Bill 66 is not yet legislation. It will be debated when MPP’s return to Queen’s Park in February.