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Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark admitted the government passed Bill 23 without consulting First Nations, despite past clashes with Indigenous communities over development
Ever since the Doug Ford government proposed its massive, sweeping housing bill, Indigenous chiefs and organizations across Ontario have been urgently reminding the Progressive Conservatives of their legal duty to consult them before making any decisions about land use.
Despite these reminders, consultation didn’t happen, and Ford’s caucus passed the More Homes Built Faster Act, or Bill 23, on Nov. 28 — a move being blasted as a blatant violation of Indigenous Rights. The government is “respectfully advised that development cannot proceed without full recognition of the rights of our Nations,” Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Derek said in a statement released hours after the bill’s passage.
He wasn’t the only Indigenous leader to express his opposition. In the days before the bill became law, the Chiefs of Ontario, a group representing First Nations across the province, put out a statement calling it “unacceptable and an abuse of power” for the Ford government to make unilateral changes to how development projects in Ontario are approved without engaging First Nations.
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