Fort Albany troubled by rapidly approved changes to EA process (Timmins Daily Press – July 25, 2020)

Fort Albany Chief Leo Metatawabin says he is troubled by the “rapid and potentially illegal passage” of a bill which he says makes remote Northern communities vulnerable by weakening the environmental assessment process.

“These changes are part of an ongoing effort by this government to overhaul Ontario’s environmental protection regime in support of its promise to ‘cut red tape’ in support of economic interests,” said Metatawabin, in a release issued by the First Nation.

“Too often this has seemed to mean weakening protections for vulnerable species and ecosystems based on the false idea that we can have a healthy economy without a healthy environment.

“We have watched this with alarm, as our muskeg homeland in Northern Ontario is one of the main targets of this government’s economic agenda, particularly through the Ring of Fire.”

The omnibus bill — dubbed the COVID-19 Recovery Act — which was passed on July 21, enacts changes to 20 pieces of current legislation that govern the province’s schools, municipalities, and justice system.

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