Toronto, Ont. – Today, Steve Clark, the Honourable Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, announced a plan to grow Ontario’s Greenbelt. This is welcome news and will, when complete, enhance the critical role played by the Greenbelt to limit sprawl and protect farmland, forests and the sources of our drinking water, as well address climate change.
In addition to the land in the Paris Galt Moraine and urban river valleys lands that the Minister is asking the public to consider adding to the Greenbelt, there are various lands under development threat that should also be considered, such as the headwaters of Carruther’s Creek north of Ajax/Pickering, all of the wetlands associated with Duffins Creek and some Whitebelt lands adjacent to the Greenbelt that are in danger of being fast-tracked for development.
Adding such lands to the Greenbelt will increase farmland and nature protection and reduce land speculation in these areas. Greenbelt expansion should also be accompanied by the Ontario government re-examining the legal and policy changes that it has made to weaken the Growth Plan, Planning Act and Conservation Authorities Act. These laws and policies should work in tandem to ensure the development of sustainable communities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
Growing the Greenbelt and improving the planning system would build on the important and historic work of many previous governments.
A full elaboration of how to best move forward with expansion to the Greenbelt, which is endorsed by over 90 groups and prominent individuals, can be found here.
About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.
For more information and to arrange an interview, contact: Allen Braude, Environmental Defence, firstname.lastname@example.org, 416-356-2587