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Bypassing public hearings, debate on Ontario Place bill is undemocratic: opposition

NDP Leader Marit Stiles said it is particularly troubling that the bill seeks to indemnify the government against claims of "misfeasance" and "bad faith."

Published Dec 5, 2023 at 2:30pm

The Canadian Press
By
The Canadian Press
Bypassing public hearings, debate on Ontario Place bill is undemocratic: opposition
Ontario Premier Doug Ford returns from a news conference in Toronto on Monday Nov. 27, 2023. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

Ontario's Progressive Conservative government is planning to bypass key debate and public hearings on a bill to push Ontario Place redevelopment plans forward, a move the opposition parties say is undemocratic.

The legislation enacts the province's promise to take control of two Toronto highways, largely exempts Ontario Place land from further environmental assessments and heritage protections, and allows the minister of infrastructure to issue minister's zoning orders, which override local laws.

Government House Leader Paul Calandra has now proposed skipping committee hearings, which provide an opportunity for public input and normally come after a bill passes second reading, and skipping debate on the bill's third and final reading.

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