Recent polling in Durham Region shows that four out of five respondents believe that the boundaries of the world’s largest Greenbelt should be protected forever from any future urban development.
Conducted between August 19 and September 8, 2015, Environics polling found that nine out of 10 respondents in rural communities agree that growth can be accommodated by making more efficient use of existing lands in urban areas. These polling results come on the heels of the release of 87 recommendations by an expert advisory panel chaired by David Crombie. The panel was tapped by the Ontario government to review the Greenbelt Plan and three other land use plans.
“While the province carries out its legislated 10 year review of the Greenbelt Plan, it’s clear that the vast majority of Durham residents cherish the nearly two million acres of permanently protected farmland, greenspace, and natural heritage systems” says Burkhard Mausberg, CEO, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. “A number of municipalities want to pave over the province’s treasured Greenbelt, but this recent public polling reveals that Ontarians are just not on board.”
When it comes to the Greenbelt’s benefits, protecting southern Ontario’s clean drinking water sources remains at the top according to one in three respondents. The second most important benefit is preserving farmland and green spaces (24 per cent). Relatedly, nine out of ten respondents believe it’s important the Greenbelt is grown to include urban river valleys.
The voting intentions of respondents were also gathered. More than half of those polled would consider changing their vote if protections for the Greenbelt were reduced or eliminated.
The Environics online poll surveyed 2,008 Greater Golden Horseshoe residents, including 285 in Durham and 251 in rural communities.
For a look at more polling results in Durham click here.
About the Greenbelt:
Ontario’s Greenbelt is the solution for fresh air, clean water, healthy local food, and a thriving economy with good jobs. At nearly 2 million acres, it’s the world’s largest permanently protected greenbelt, keeping our farmlands, forests, and wetlands safe and sustainable. The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation works to help keep farmers successful, strengthen local economies, and protect natural features. Join us in 2015 as we celebrate 10 years of success for the Greenbelt! Learn more at: greenbelt.ca or find us on Twitter and Facebook.