Statement by Environmental Defence’s Acting Executive Director, Sarah Winterton on Ontario’s decision to join Waterloo’s appeal of the OMB ruling
Toronto, ON – We applaud the Ontario government for joining the Region of Waterloo’s appeal against the Ontario Municipal Board decision. Letting the ruling stand would destroy the Region’s official plan by opening too much land to urban sprawl and threaten the future of the province’s Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
The Region did the right thing by creating a strong official plan, where population growth would occur in the existing built up area rather than by urbanizing prime farmland. The OMB’s ruling overturned key parts of this plan, and would give urban sprawl developers a green light to pave over countryside.
If unchallenged, the decision would damage Ontario’s Places to Grow Act by undermining its density targets and timelines, and weaken the Growth Plan which has been heralded worldwide as a leading edge, responsible way to manage growth.
The outcome of this appeal could have significant impacts for other municipalities across the province who, like Waterloo, are working to build livable, eco-friendly communities while preventing urban sprawl. If developers can use the OMB to force local governments to open up over 10 times more land for sprawl than they or their residents want, it completely undermines the public consultation process that we know is essential to good planning.
About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.
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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Naomi Carniol, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext. 258; 416-570-2878 (cell) ncarniol@environmentaldefence.ca