Statement from Phil Pothen, Ontario Environment Program Manager at Environmental Defence, on Housing Minister Clark’s Resignation re: Breach of Integrity Rules
Toronto | Traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Huron-Wendat – Phil Pothen, Environmental Defence’s Ontario Environment Program Manager, is available to provide insight following Housing Minister Clark’s resignation over the Ontario government’s Greenbelt scandal. His statement is as follows:
“The resignation of Minister Clark is a predictable attempt at damage control but that is no substitute for reversing the $8.3 billion Greenbelt giveaways in their entirety.
“Given the findings of the Auditor General and the Integrity Commissioner and the vast 350km2 supply of designated development land we had in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area alone (before this government took office), sprawling further outwards, let alone into the Greenbelt, cannot be justified and will only make things worse. Any Minister who persists in claiming otherwise, will only be implicating her or himself in what, going forward, they will know is a false story and disreputable, harmful policy initiative.
“It is clear that the Greenbelt removals are not about housing, therefore the Premier, Cabinet and PC MPPs need to immediately take the following actions:
Restore protection to every acre of land Minister Clark removed from the Greenbelt and prohibit any further removals
Reinstate the Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve Act
Reverse the various boundary expansions and sprawl MZOs authorized by the Minister’s Office
Overhaul land use rules to slam the brakes on sprawl and focus development on adding compact, affordable homes to existing neighbourhoods and settlement areas
Interview availability today by Zoom and in Toronto with Phil Pothen, Ontario Environment Program Manager
There are 59,000 hectares of land designated for development in the GTHA alone, without including the 3,000 hectares removed from the Greenbelt.
If some of the lands were developed at even the modest densities of Toronto’s Trinity-Bellwoods neighbourhood, only 15,000 hectares would be needed to house the population projected for the region by 2051. See more at: https://environmentaldefence.
ca/the-big-sprawl-the-gtha- has-more-than-enough-land- designated-for-development/
Ontarians know that we can build homes in cities and towns where we already have services and where public transit and walkability lead to lower costs and higher quality of life. In fact, a new public opinion poll conducted by Environics for the Alliance for a Livable Ontario shows that 83 per cent of Ontario residents want homes built within cities and towns where services exist – and not on the Greenbelt.
About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Stephanie Kohls, email@example.com