Green Party leader in Fergus on weekend to rally against Bill 23

 FERGUS – Even though Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act, passed third reading on Nov. 28, the devil is in the details, says Mike Schreiner, who has not lost hope the bill could be amended and environmentally-sensitive land saved.

So it’s still worth fighting the bill that purports to address a provincial housing shortage but in fact opens the Greenbelt for development, decimates the powers and responsibilities of conservation authorities, and puts the cost of growth directly on the municipal taxpayer, he said.

The leader of the Ontario Green Party was in Fergus on Nov. 26 to organize a door knocking campaign.

He met with about 20 supporters at the Centre Wellington Community Sportsplex to hand out signs and rally the troops.

Schreiner said Premier Doug Ford introduced legislation in 2018 that threatened the Greenbelt, “and he backtracked from Bill 66 then.

“I think with people power we could get him to change his mind and backtrack again,” said Schreiner.

He noted Ford promised at that time not to open the Greenbelt for development again.

“He has explicitly promised on a number of occasions that he won’t open the Greenbelt for development. To break that promise is outrageous,” Schreiner continued.

“Even Conservatives are outraged by this.”

About 20 local folks joined Green Party leader Mike Schreiner in Fergus to launch Days of Action against Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act. Photo by Joanne Shuttleworth


The Green Party was holding a Day of Action on Saturday, with rallies and door knocking campaigns across the province.

Schreiner said even if the bill passes, which it did on Monday, there’s a chance that elements of it could be changed when it comes to passing the regulations.

“Even if the bill passes, we could still stop this through the regulatory process,” he told supporters.

Schreiner called the bill “a corrupt land grab” and while he stopped short of accusing anyone of criminal activity, he did say the fact developers were buying land in the Greenbelt as recently as September suggests at the very least some leaked information about the pending bill.

“It doesn’t pass the smell test,” he said.

Other grassroots organizations are also protesting the bill and on Dec. 4 there will be a rally in Elora at 1pm by the municipal office at Geddes and Metcalfe streets.

This one is organized by the Greenbelt West Coalition and is being supported by the local Save Our Water organization.

“Just in the last few days the government has already walked back some of the details and will now allow municipal standards of sustainable construction, less aggregate mining and more public consultation on developments.

“So it’s important that together we keep up the pressure!” reads a statement from Save Our Water.

Details can be found at