Despite a persistent snow storm, more than sixty concerned citizens showed up to protest the provincial government’s proposed Bill 23 – More Homes Built Faster Act. The rally, held outside MPP Jill Dunlop’s Orillia office was one of dozens held across the province over the weekend.
Organized by a coalition of local environmental groups, those present included several local councillors, along with representatives of Green Orillia, the Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition, Orillia Wetland Watchers, the Simcoe Greenbelt Coalition and Sustainable Orillia.
Also, on hand were a noticeable cohort of concerned young people – “The generation whose futures will be profoundly impacted by the climate and housing crises, so we have to work to protect them now.” said one of the rally’s organizers, Green Orillia’s Madeleine Fournier.
It goes without saying that Ms. Dunlop was nowhere to be seen – it seems possible that some of the protesters present have spent more time in and around her office lately than she has!
Mr. Ford and his government are no doubt flexing their ‘mandate muscles’ and it’s unclear as to whether protests, expert analysis, common sense or negative publicity will prevent them from passing this act, perhaps sooner than later. We must however, keep trying and continue to make our voices and concerns heard. And we need you to be part of that response as well. Watch for future opportunities to participate in protesting this bill and the environmental damage it will enable – in the meantime, please make your concerns known by contacting your provincial elected representative.
Click here to read Sustainable Orillia’s recent article and submission to the Standing Committee outlining our concerns with the proposed legislation.
Photo Credits – Orillia Matters & Sophie Mathewson