Greenbelt Wins "Environmental Planning" National Award

Toronto, April 24, 2007 /CNW/ – The Ontario government has won a prestigious national planning award for its Greenbelt Plan, Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister John Gerretsen announced today.

The Canadian Institute of Planners selected the Greenbelt Plan, which permanently protects 1.8 million acres of agricultural and environmentally sensitive land around the Greater Golden Horseshoe, as the recipient of its 2007 Award for Planning Excellence in the category of Environmental Planning.

"The Greenbelt Plan is an innovative planning achievement of provincial and national significance that protects some of our most precious environmental resources," said Gerretsen. "This award is a strong endorsement of the McGuinty government's comprehensive approach to planning strategically for growth while protecting the quality of our air, water and land for future generations."

The award will be presented on June 5, 2007 during the Canadian Institute of Planners' annual conference in Quebec City. "The winning project is certainly deserving of recognition by the Canadian Institute of Planners," said Gary Willson, Chair of the Planning Excellence Jury. "It highlights the significant care that Canadians have for their natural and built environments and the unique, increasingly sophisticated ways in which they want to express this."

The Government of Ontario also received a second award from the Canadian Institute of Planners, this one in the re-urbanization category, for its Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

In October 2006, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario announced that he plans to present a special award to the Government of Ontario and the Niagara Escarpment Commission recognizing their accomplishments in establishing Ontario's Greenbelt. The Greenbelt is part of the McGuinty government's commitment to environmental protection. It is also a key component of the province's reform of the planning system, which includes changes to the Provincial Policy Statement and the creation of the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

Most recently, reforms to the Planning Act that came into force on January 1, 2007, complement the Greenbelt by providing additional municipal tools that encourage sustainable development. www.ontario.ca/mah

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For further information: Patti Munce, Minister Gerretsen's Office, (416) 585-6333 Audrey Bennett, Provincial Planning Policy Branch, (416) 585-6072

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