Toronto | Traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Huron-Wendat – Phil Pothen, Environmental Defence’s Counsel and Land Development Manager, is available to provide insight following Minotar Holdings’ filing of an application for judicial review of the restoration of Greenbelt protection to its agricultural landholdings in Markham’s protected countryside.

Background Information: 

  • The agricultural lands which are the subject of the application were among the 15 parcels stripped of Greenbelt protection in late 2022, despite the Ontario government’s express promise never to remove land from the Greenbelt.

  • Enshrining protection of current Greenbelt lands in statute, rather than allowing removals by regulation at the discretion of Cabinet, was necessary to restore the certainty of permanence which is vital to the Greenbelt’s functioning, and which was undermined by the Ontario government’s recent attack on the Greenbelt.

  • Experts warned land speculators from the start that the removal of land from the Greenbelt was inappropriate and would soon need to be returned, and it was reckless for Minotar to disregard those warnings.

  • Permitting Minotar to be compensated would create perverse incentives for real estate investors in future to use expenditures as a way to “lock in” inappropriate government giveaways.

When: Friday, December 15, 2023

Who: Phil Pothen – Counsel and Land Development Program Manager, Ontario Environment

Where: Toronto, Ontario and available remotely

ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE ( 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.

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For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Carolyn Townend, Environmental Defence