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[28 Mar 2015 | Comments Off on David Donnelly on Anti-SLAPP Bill 52 Controversy | ]

Bill 52, the Protection of Public Participation Act, was debated at Queen’s Park again this week. Bill 52 is designed to prevent SLAPP suits (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation), where deep-pocketed corporations bring frivolous lawsuits against grassroots critics (often citizen’s groups and environmental groups) in order to intimidate and silence them.
MPP Jagmeet Singh (Bramalea-Gore-Malton) began the debate, commenting:
“It’s my pleasure to continue debate on this important piece of legislation. What I discussed earlier was how important this bill was in terms of protecting public participation. It’s, again, a hallmark of …

Featured, Law & Policy Reform, News »

[5 Dec 2014 | Comments Off on Anti-SLAPP Bill Reintroduced in Legislature | ]

On December 1, 2014, Minister Madeleine Meilleur reintroduced legislation to protect public participation and freedom of expression from SLAPP lawsuits, Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation.  Bill 52, the Protection of Public Participation Act, is an important bill designed to prevent SLAPP suits, where deep-pocketed corporations and developers bring frivolous lawsuits against grassroots critics (often citizen’s groups and environmental groups) in order to intimidate and silence them.   Ontario’s previous Attorney General, the Honourable John Gerretsen, introduced a nearly identical bill in June 2013.
On introducing Bill 52 to the Legislative Assembly, Minister …

Environmental Law, Featured, Greenbelt, Land Use Planning Law, Law & Policy Reform, News »

[2 Dec 2014 | Comments Off on Greenbelting Halifax: One Step Closer to Reality | ]

On November 17, 2014, Halifax Regional Municipality (“HRM”) issued a Request for Proposal (“RFP”) for a qualified firm to “go beyond the conventional parks planning approach” to develop HRM’s Greenbelting and Open Spaces Priorities Plan.  Donnelly Law will review the Greenbelting RFP to ensure HRM Staff is ambitious with its plan to protect and connect HRM’s natural heritage, cultural landscapes, open spaces, and agricultural lands.
Our HRM Alliance, a group of organizations from the Halifax area, envisions a Greenbelt that establishes a permanent development boundary around Halifax to control sprawl, reduce …

Environmental Law, Featured, Greenbelt, Law & Policy Reform, News, Publications »

[10 Nov 2014 | Comments Off on Private Member’s Bill to Repeal the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act Defeated on Second Reading | ]

On October 21, 2014, MPP Jack MacLaren (Carleton-Mississippi Mills) introduced Bill 32, the Bob Mackie Act¸ 2014, into the Ontario Legislature.  The purpose of Bill 32 is to repeal Ontario’s Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act (“NEPDA”).  The NEPDA was passed in 1973 by the Progressive Conservative government of Premier Bill Davis.  The Niagara Escarpment Plan (“NEP”) was approved by Premier Frank Miller’s (Progressive Conservative) Cabinet on June 12, 1985.
The NEPDA and NEP “provide for the maintenance of the Niagara Escarpment and land in its vicinity substantially as a natural …

Environmental Law, Featured, Law & Policy Reform, News, Uncategorized »

[9 Jul 2014 | Comments Off on Halton Region Passes Unanimous Resolution to Legislate Against SLAPP Suits | ]

In a unanimous 20-0 vote, Halton Region Councillors voted to send a message to Premier Kathleen Wynne, asking that she re-introduce Bill 83, An Act to Amend the Courts of Justice Act and the Statutory Powers Procedure Act in order to protect expression on matters of public interest. The Resolution reads in part:
“THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Council of the Regional Municipality of Halton advise the newly elected Premier of the Province of Ontario, the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, and its local members of Provincial Legislative Assembly of its support …

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[25 Jun 2014 | Comments Off on Halifax Regional Municipality 5-year Regional Plan Approved by Council | ]

For Donnelly Law’s client the Ecology Action Centre (“EAC”), the regional plan’s commitment to a Greenbelt and Public Open Spaces Priorities Plan is considered a major achievement for Halifax.
“I feel much more hopeful about the future of this city as we emerge from this process. […] it is great to see planning and a regional plan be taken seriously inside and outside of City Hall” said Mark Butler of the EAC.
Greenbelting – legislation that protects large tracts of land from development– was featured by environmental lawyer David Donnelly and Ivey …

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[22 Jun 2014 | Comments Off on David Donnelly, Margaret Atwood and Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association to Premier Wynne: Stop the Midhurst Development | ]

On Sunday June 22, 2014, David Donnelly joined Margaret Atwood and the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association (“MRA”) in asking Premier Wynne to close the Midhurst development loophole. David spoke at the “Celebration of Rural Living”, along with Margaret Atwood, Shirley Boxen (Food and Water First), and Sandy Buxton (MRA), emceed by Dale Goldhawk.
Listen to David’s remarks here.
Midhurst, a small village in the Township of Springwater (north of Barrie), is home to about 3,500 people. In January 2013, the Province added a new provision to the regulation implementing the Places to Grow …

Environmental Law, Featured, Land Use Planning Law, Law & Policy Reform »

[28 Feb 2014 | Comments Off on Donnelly Law on the Recent Oak Ridges Moraine Victory | ]

On January 27, 2014, the Ontario Municipal Board (“OMB”) denied a planning application submitted by Mr. Peter Eliopoulos to allow a massive outdoor wedding/banquet facility in King Township in the Countryside Area of the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan (the “ORMCP”).  The decision was featured in the Toronto Star, with David Donnelly saying:
“Putting large-scale, car-dependent commercial activities in some of the most beautiful and natural country in southern Ontario would have been a big mistake,” said lawyer David Donnelly, who represented local residents at the OMB hearing. “If you believe …

Environmental Law, Featured, Land Use Planning Law, Law & Policy Reform, News, Publications »

[11 Feb 2014 | Comments Off on OMB Victory on the Oak Ridges Moraine in the Toronto Star | ]

Environmentalists cheer Oak Ridges Moraine decision
Rachel Mendelson
The Toronto Star
February 11, 2014
“Putting large-scale, car-dependent commercial activities in some of the most beautiful and natural country in southern Ontario would have been a big mistake,” said lawyer David Donnelly, who represented local residents at the OMB hearing. “If you believe that King Township is horse country and not paintball country, then this is a big decision for the Oak Ridges Moraine.”
Read the Toronto Star article on this victory achieved by Donnelly Law’s client the Stewards of the Moraine Inc., here.

Environmental Law, Featured, Law & Policy Reform, News »

[17 Dec 2013 | Comments Off on David Donnelly on CBC Radio: Aggregate Pits in Ontario’s North | ]

On Friday, December 13, 2013, David Donnelly was interviewed by CBC Thunder Bay.  Residents and property owners outside Thunder Bay are asking Taranis Construction to reduce its operating hours and noise at a new gravel pit.
 
“In the north it seems to be open season on putting these pits in where in many cases either don’t belong, or the operators should be more responsive to local concerns,?” said David Donnelly, legal counsel for the Toronto-based Environmental Defence group.
 
Click here to listen to David’s interview with CBC Thunder Bay on action residents could take, …