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 environment, and to ensure only such development occurs as  compatible with that natural environment.” (s. 1, NEPDA)  The NEP regulates a range of development, from residential housing to aggregate extraction to recreational uses.  Ontario’s Niagara Escarpment is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, significant landform and working countryside recognized as a significant landscape provincially and internationally.

The NEP is subject to a formal review in 2015.  The Niagara Escarpment Commission and Ministry of Natural Resources have begun their preparations for the formal review.  The 2015 NEP Review will be coordinated with the provincial review of the Greenbelt Plan, Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe Review.

Bill 32 is named after Mr. Bob Mackie (now deceased), a past governor of the Ontario Landowners Association and president of the Niagara Landowners Association.

On November 6, 2014, MPP MacLaren (Progressive Conservative) moved second reading of Bill 32, Bill Mackie Act, 2014, repeal the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Act Development the Ontario Legislature.   Bill 32 was defeated on second reading by a vote of one for and 44 against, including Conservative MPPs.

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