Growing the Green, Protecting the Blue: October 2016 Highlights

Throughout October, as the deadline for the Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review approached, local organizations galvanized support for Growing Our Greenbelt. Here is a round-up of recent events by partners, friends, and relevant organizations. Thank you for your continued support and research!

Grow Our Greenbelt at the Carruthers Creek Headwaters

The Town of Ajax has launched a campaign to protect the headwaters of Carruthers Creek, which are currently left out of the Province's proposal to expand the Greenbelt. Our sensitive headwaters filter and clean water that flows into Lake Ontario – a source of drinking water for 9 million people. Ajax has collected over 500 signatures in a petition to the Province. Check out coverage of the campaign in the Toronto Star.

Grow Our Greenbelt in Simcoe

On October 19, in Midhurst, the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition (SCGC) held a public forum on water, including local efforts to protect Simcoe's groundwater, wetlands, and rivers, by expanding the Greenbelt.

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Becky Big Canoe of Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation

Over 50 local residents and Simcoe County councillors attended the event, which featured Springwater Mayor Bill French, SCGC co-chair Margaret Prophet, Becky Big Canoe of Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation, Bernard Pope of Ontario Farmland Preservation, and a video interview with former Mayor of Toronto David Crombie. Tottenham resident Nancy McBride also spoke about water quality issues in her town, bringing a jar of cloudy tap water to illustrate her point.

Check out local coverage of the event here. Plus, join SCGC and Maude Barlow on November 7 for the Midhurst launch of Boiling Point, and a discussion on how Canada's water crisis relates to Simcoe County.

Thunderclap to Grow Our Greenbelt

On October 19, we hosted a social media Thunderclap with a combined social reach of over 2 million. Participants sent a strong message to the Ontario government: #GrowOurGB to protect clean water supplies! Check out highlights of the Thunderclap, plus a round-up of Grow Our Greenbelt in the media

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Violet and Tamlyn get ready for the Thunderclap on October 19

Environment Hamilton hosts the Neptis Foundation

On October 17, Environment Hamilton and the Neptis Foundation hosted an event, "Places to Grow, Places to Preserve." Neptis Executive Director Marcy Burchfield demonstrated a newly-released interactive information and mapping platform, the Neptis Geoweb, in relation to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and the Greenbelt.

In mid-October, the Neptis Foundation launched a series of briefs examining land supply designated for future urban development by municipalities across the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH). Contrary to developer narratives, the Neptis Foundation's comprehensive, independent research finds that since 2006, the year the Growth Plan was established, less than 20% of the Greater Toronto & Hamilton Area (GHTA) land supply for greenfield development has been built on. "That leaves 80% of the designated land supply to accommodate another 15 years’ worth of growth to 2031 and possibly beyond," states the first brief.

Canoe Rides to Grow Our Greenbelt along the Grand River

Sustainable Brant hosted two Grow Our Greenbelt Canoe Rides in partnership with Grand Experiences Canoe and Kayak Outfitters, RARE Charitable Research Reserve, and the Langford Conservancy. Click here to read Ella Haley of Sustainable Brant's blog post on the importance of working together to Grow Our Greenbelt along the Grand River watershed. 

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Canoe Ride to Grow Our Greenbelt along the Grand River, hosted by Sustainable Brant

Take Action

Now that consultations for the Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review have drawn to a close, we expect the province to announce its amendments to the Greenbelt and Growth Plans in spring 2017. Until then, we encourage you to send a letter to the Premier and Ontario government, asking them to Grow Our Greenbelt to protect more of the vital water resources we rely on. 

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