By now you have probably heard that the two-year-long Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review has drawn to a close, and the final amendments have been released. We want to take a moment to reflect and thank you for supporting the Greenbelt for the last 12 years and beyond!
When Ontario's Greenbelt was established in 2005, the provincial government set a ten-year review date. When 2015 arrived, it was a landmark moment and opportunity for the Greenbelt, the Growth Plan and the Greater Golden Horseshoe at large.
Photo taken in the Bruce Peninsula by Catherine Marshall
An estimated 4,600 Ontario residents and hundreds of Greenbelt supporters attended town hall meetings, and 42,000 people submitted feedback online. An expert panel chaired by former Mayor of Toronto David Crombie was tasked with reviewing the feedback and developing recommendations to improve four provincial land use plans, including the Greenbelt. The panel released their recommendations in December 2015, and in the spring the Province announced its proposed changes.
We learned that the government was proposing to extend Greenbelt protection to 21 urban river valleys and seven coastal wetlands. The new changes also indicated support for farming and local food, and a commitment to grow our towns and cities smartly—providing a framework for building complete communities.
For more than a year we worked together to send over 50,000 letters to grow and protect the Greenbelt. We met with MPPs and local representatives to make sure the final amendments reaffirmed permanent Greenbelt protection for generations to come. At the same time, the Greenbelt withstood significant pressure from developers, who made hundreds of requests to remove land from the Greenbelt.
The amendments were released last month—May 2017—and uphold the Greenbelt's most central legacy: its permanence. Click here to read our full statement on the amendments.
With the Greenbelt boundaries protected, we now turn to securing more protection for vulnerable fresh water resources.
This summer, we'll be ramping up the Grow Our Greenbelt campaign again, in anticipation of the Province's process to consider additional hydrological areas—that's in addition to the urban river valleys and coastal wetlands. Protecting clean water supports agriculture and ensures the long-term health of our region. Stay tuned!