Image from Ontario Farmland Trust
Premier Kathleen Wynne and her Cabinet are about to make a final decision on the updated Greenbelt and Growth Plans. They have a big choice to make: protect farmland, water sources, and natural areas in and around the Greenbelt, or allow developers to pave over these areas for years to come.
This is our last chance to let the Premier and MPPs know that Ontarians support clean water and local food. Please add your voice and help push back against powerful interests lobbying to roll back these hard-earned protections.
What is at stake?
Proposed changes to the Growth Plan and Greenbelt Plan will allow costly and damaging sprawl developments on thousands of hectares of rural countryside:
A loophole in the Growth Plan allows sprawl development on unserviced farmland to be counted as intensification. On January 1, 2017 the Brantford megasprawl deal came into effect. This will allow approximately 9,000 acres of mostly unserviced prime farmland for growth. This is a significant loss of prime farmland and development on this land will be costly to service.
Proposed changes to the Greenbelt Plan will also allow sprawl around towns and villages within the Greenbelt and remove the prohibition on building new water and sewer pipes from Lake Ontario and Lake Simcoe. These policies are central to the goals of the Greenbelt; removing them could fatally undermine it.
There is no need for these changes.
An area of land larger than Mississauga and Oakville is set aside for development in the region, more than enough to accommodate population growth to 2031 and beyond. To support this smarter, more land-efficient growth, we need to protect water sources and productive farmland, not encourage more costly, developer-driven urban sprawl.
Tell the Province you want them to grow the Greenbelt!
Now is a very important time for the Greenbelt Plan and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, are under official review by the Provincial Government as part of the Coordinated Land-Use Planning Review. The Review process began in the spring of 2015, with public consultations held in your community and across the Greenbelt.
A review advisory panel, led by David Crombie, was created and tasked with producing recommendations for how to improve the effectiveness of these plans, in large part based on what they heard from stakeholders and the public through the spring and summer consults.
For more information about these recommendations please click here.
The Ontario Greenbelt Alliance (OGA) is calling on Premier Wynne and her government to fix the Greenbelt and Growth Plan while they still can. Please send a letter and sign the petition to show your support for our region’s clean air, fresh water, and healthy local food.