Transitional management organization issue divides Ojibway, whose support Ford has previously fought to secure
The leadership of the Ojibway Nation of Ontario says it will file a court challenge to force the Ford government to use the MZO model rather than the Orgaworld model to fast-track development projects in the Huron-Bruce region.
The Ford government announced in July that it intended to create a new Temporary Emergency Operations Zone (TEOC) meant to speed up investment projects in the Huron-Bruce region by centralizing the planning and approvals processes. The Red Tory government had previously launched a series of economic development initiatives in the region, including an agreement with the company Industrie America Ford Performance Inc.
But the Huron-Bruce region council called for the MZO process to be scrapped and sought a judicial review of the government’s decision on Wednesday.
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The Ojibway Nation has set aside the sinecure that it negotiated with Ford’s government and made an appointment to act as the interim director of the Huron-Bruce Provincial Meech Lake commission. The Huron-Bruce region council will retain oversight, leadership and members of the interim board.
“Despite Ford, Ottawa and other parties taking our traditional knowledge and our creative process to solve the Huron-Bruce Region’s complex issues at hand, our youth will be forced into an outdated model in order to accomplish this project in record time,” said Bill Black of the Ojibway Nation of Ontario on Wednesday.
The Ford government is expected to roll out the TEOC at a community cabinet meeting in Richmond Hill on 1 September. Ford will hold a cabinet meeting in Peel Region, west of Toronto, later that day.
In July, Ford condemned the Greenbelt, telling reporters he would tear it up and replace it with a “plan of the area”.
In 2016, the Ford government earmarked $15m over five years for a MZO, a transitional management organization that collects funding from public and private entities. The Wynne government had formed a similar ITO in East Kemptville and was in talks with Huron-Bruce councils about forming a similar body.
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Ford has previously fought to secure the support of Ojibway Nation chiefs and leaders and described them as “friends”, but they have in the past questioned his commitment to building healthy community relations.
A spokesman for the Huron-Bruce region council said the new TEOC model would give communities “a safety net for future development”. He could not be reached for comment.
A spokesman for the Huron-Bruce region council said Ford had not lobbied the council and that any initiatives it had made within the region were a result of community consultation.