An initiative of organizations supporting clean water, farmland, biodiversity, and healthy communities.

Find out how you can fight back against The Big Sprawl


Once a tool to address emergencies, the current government is using Minister’s Zoning Orders (MZOs) to reward developers by overriding local planning and cutting out public input.

While the occasional MZO does address an emergency – such as to build shelter for homeless people or allow more outdoor dining during the pandemic – many of the over 40 MZOs issued by the Ontario government push through developments on farmland, natural areas and provincially significant wetlands, such as the Lower Duffins Creek Wetland in Pickering.

Below are links for more information about MZOs. And stay tuned for more resources on how you can fight back against MZOs in your community, because Ontario’s environment is Yours To Protect.

See the map that shows the location of some of the over 40 MZOs issued in the last 18 monthsRead why Ecojustice, Environmental Defence and Ontario Nature are taking the Ontario government to court to overturn an MZO and save the Lower Duffins Creek WetlandDownload and print a poster to show your care about protecting Ontario’s EnvironmentRead about how not long ago you may never have heard about MZOs and that used to be ok – but not anymore

Changes to Ontario’s planning laws and to the Growth Plan, make it easier for sprawl developers to pave over farmland, forests and wetlands.                                                                                                                       

What we do on the land impacts water. More sprawl and highways and weaker planning rules mean more runoff, pollution and flooding.

At a time when we should be working to help and restore endangered species and protect wild nature, the Ontario government has gutted the law that protects endangered species.                                                                                                                                 

Climate change is an urgent crisis. But instead of doing more to fight climate change, Ontario cancelled most of the programs that helped industry and individuals reduce carbon pollution.                                                                                                                                             

The Ontario government repealed the Toxics Reduction Act (TRA) and reversed progress on air pollution. This is a serious threat to our health, and a daily reality for many communities living at the fenceline of industrial areas, such as Sarnia                                

Groups throughout Ontario are taking action to protect our water, forests and natural areas. Visit the hotspots map to see what communities are impacted.                                                                                                                              

Ontario is Yours To Protect

Ontario is blessed with abundant freshwater, some of Canada’s best farmland, diverse wildlife and natural spaces we can all enjoy. But these features are under threat from the Ontario government. The province is removing important environmental protections to make it easier for sprawl to pave over prime farmland and industry to pollute our water and land, and to threaten wildlife

That’s why we came together to say that we live here, we love this province and we are not going to let it be dug up, paved over, and polluted.

Join us. Ontario is YOURS TO PROTECT.

Find out what’s at Risk

See what areas are most vulnerable to decreased environmental protections. Your home could be exposed to increased flood risk or your favourite vacation spot could be paved over.

Visit Hotspot Map >

Cancel Highway 413

Highway 413 (also known as the GTA West Highway) will pave over farms, forests and a section of the Greenbelt while doing nearly nothing to improve commutes. Ontatio must cancel Highway 413.

Find Out More

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Join our email community to stay up-to-date on important environment issues in Ontario, future events and how you can connect with like minded people.

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