Toronto, ON — Today the Ontario government made an unfortunate decision to hike the Places to Grow Act projection of population and employment numbers for 2031 through to 2041. While this might seem like only a numbers game, it could have damaging consequences for farmland and communities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) region for decades to come.
The new population targets risk destroying prime farmland by fast-tracking even more development in already quickly growing communities across the GGH and will put even more pressure on local governments to open up more farmland for development.  
This is out of step with the province’s commendable efforts – the Places to Grow Act, the Greenbelt Act and the Metrolinx Plan – to create livable communities that are well planned and protect green spaces and farmland. It will enable the development industry to use the higher numbers to justify opening more farmland to sprawl, and try to bulldoze sensitive areas that provide the GGH with sources of food and clean water.
We urge the province to stay the course by working with municipalities and residents to strengthen and implement the Growth Plan and keep a tight control on sprawl. It’s time to stand strong to ensure a sustainable and livable future for the GGH, not the time for an unwarranted land giveaway.
( 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.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Naomi Carniol, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext. 258; 416-570-2878 (cell)