A crowd of protesters lined up outside MPP Todd Smith’s office Thursday in protest of Bill 23, More Homes Built Faster act.
The protesters complaints focused on the environmental impact of the bill.
The protest was made of a diverse group of individuals from various backgrounds. Protesters from various environmental groups and conservation authorities were attending, along with members of the Ontario Green Party, groups from the Quinte Field Naturalists and the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists, and the Horticultural Society of Prince Edward County.
Amy Bodman, one of the protest organizers and president of the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists, said that the act would open up previously protected wetlands to development, and that doing this could be disastrous for both the environment and the people living in the area.
“Our wetlands play a really important role of pulling contaminants out. That’s one of the things that cattails do is they take out heavy metals and other contaminants so they clean our water at the same time,” said Bodman. “Again, also, our wetlands stop erosion, and more than anything they provide habitat for for endangered species for biodiversity.”
Bodman also said that protected wetlands given to conservation authorities are under direct threat.
“That’s another thing is that there’s another part of this bill, that conservation areas are being asked to identify properties that they own that are that would be good for housing,”said Bodman “These are areas that people have put aside and given to the Conservation Authority, for protection with the understanding that it will continue to be protected.”
The bill was submitted for third reading on Wednesday, and has not yet been signed into law.