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[5 Dec 2014 | No Comment | ]

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 | No Comment | ]

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 | No Comment | ]

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 …

Featured, Land Use Planning Law, News »

[24 Oct 2014 | No Comment | ]

Development plan divides Simcoe County village
RACHEL MENDLESON / TORONTO STAR
In a rural village in Simcoe County, concerned residents have turned the municipal election into a referendum on growth, and to some extent, the province’s efforts to limit sprawl in the fertile farmland north of the protected Greenbelt.
[...]

However, according to environmental lawyer David Donnelly, who has been involved in a number of land-use battles in Simcoe County, the special rule is “one of the most extreme examples in Ontario of ministerial discretion being used (to) bypass planning laws designed to limit …

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

[9 Jul 2014 | No Comment | ]

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 …

Featured, Law & Policy Reform, News »

[25 Jun 2014 | No Comment | ]

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 …

Featured, Law & Policy Reform, News »

[22 Jun 2014 | No Comment | ]

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, News »

[11 Jun 2014 | No Comment | ]

Burlington Airpark Inc. (“Airpark”) is the owner and operator of the Burlington Executive Airport, an aerodrome, located in the City of Burlington within the Protected Countryside Area of the Greenbelt Plan and adjacent to the Niagara Escarpment Plan Area.
For over five (5) years, Airpark has been bringing substantial quantities of fill onto their property to build up their runway.
In the spring of 2013, the City of Burlington issued an order to Airpark to comply with fill by-law 6-2003. The City of Burlington by-law 6-2003 states:
“No person shall place or dump …

Featured, News »

[29 Apr 2014 | No Comment | ]

Anishnawbe Health Toronto (“AHT”) has released a watershed study, Early Death Among Members of Toronto’s Aboriginal Community: Walking in Their Shoes. The study shows that a large number of Aboriginal individuals in Toronto are dying prematurely – meaning they are passing away long before would be expected for the non-Aboriginal Torontonian. The study documents AHT’s clinical observations at AHT and three other Aboriginal health and social service centres. The study asks, “How much earlier?”  The average person in Toronto has a life expectancy of 75 years. The report found the …

Featured, First Nations Law, Land Use Planning Law, News »

[3 Mar 2014 | No Comment | ]

On February 24, 2014, the Ontario Government released the Provincial Policy Statement, 2014 (“PPS 2014”), not previously updated since 2005.  The PPS 2014 is Ontario’s foundational land use planning policy:  all decisions affecting land use planning decisions in Ontario “shall be consistent” with the PPS. 
 Now, for the first time, the PPS includes references to Aboriginal people.  This is a watershed inclusion that removes persistent flouting of the constitutional duty to consult with Aboriginal communities in the Planning Act.  Donnelly Law had litigated and advocated on behalf of its former …