“Will you join in our crusade? Who will be strong and stand with me?” - Victor Marie Hugo
Friends of Earthroots and defenders of the environment, the four day Divisional Court Hearing regarding Bill 197 has come to a conclusion. There is much to be hopeful for.
An issue before the court was whether the Province acted unlawfully when they refused to carry out the public consultation requirements under Part II of the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) before Bill 197 was enacted. The Auditor General of Ontario told the Ministers in 2020 that public consultation on these schedules was mandatory under the EBR.
The complexity of the case will delay the timing and results of its conclusion. Arguments were presented from Ecojustice, the Canadian Environmental Law Association (on behalf of Earthroots), and legal representatives for the Indigenous communities. The court was presented with a path to hopefully provide judicial relief in relation to Minister Zoning Order amendments. Documents filed by all parties amounted to approximately 12,000 pages!
Earthroots will keep our followers advised of the important outcome of this landmark case.
At the conclusion of the trial, the court reserved its decision to fully consider the matter at hand. It's a probability that the court will not issue a judgement until at least the fall of this year.
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