The current Ontario government, led by Premier Doug Ford, has issued more than 50 Ministerial Zoning Orders (MZOs) since coming to power in 2018 — far more than the previous government issued in its 15 years in power.https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200595
What's an MZO?
It's a move that allows Ontario's Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing override local planning. They get to decide how land can be used. There is no obligation on the part of the provincial government to include community in deciding what is to go there. Local municipal governments and communities have no say and no right of appeal.
And that is a HUGE problem.
This means that the government can offer developer-donors plum properties and no headache of municipal zoning issues to contend with. All community consultation is bypassed.
Moreover, this government passed a COVID-19 economic relief bill that included a section strengthening the ministry's authority to approve projects. And a budget bill passed in December also expanded their power. At this point, conservation authorities are REQUIRED to approve any development subject to an MZO.
In October 2020, Minister Steve Clark issued a Ministerial Zoning Order (MZO) concerning the Dominion Wheel & Foundries site.
No consultation. No appeal.
Here is a timeline of events so far.
“Had it not been for the swift action of this group, there is every chance that these buildings would have been destroyed before legal proceedings were brought to identify the issues that will be decided in this application.” - Judge David Corbett