Members of the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance gather at Queen's Park
The feedback period for the recent Coordinated Land Use Planning Review ended on October 31. The Province is now reviewing submissions from the public, municipalities, community groups, and others, including over 35,000 letters sent by residents in support of protecting and growing the Greenbelt. Amendments to the Greenbelt and Growth Plans are expected in late winter or spring 2017. To show support for the Greenbelt while the Province deliberates, 70 OGA members and Municipal Leaders for the Greenbelt, as well as 25 MPPs, gathered for an early breakfast at Queen's Park.
Members of the OGA delivered over 35,000 signatures to Minister Mauro and Premiere Wynne
There was representation from across the Greenbelt, including the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, Environmental Defence, Toronto Environmental Alliance, Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition, Save the Oak Ridges Moraine (STORM), Environment Hamilton, Oakville Green, Sustainable Brant and the Langford Conservancy, EcoSpark, Wellington Water Watchers, and more!
Municipal Leaders for the Greenbelt expressed strong support for growing the Greenbelt. In particular, Mayor Steve Parrish of Ajax expressed the need to protect the headwaters of Carruthers Creek, while Deputy Toronto Mayor Glenn De Baeremaeker called for the freezing of municipal boundaries for the next 10 years to promote smart growth and protect farmland.
Minister of Municipal Affairs Bill Mauro thanked the OGA for its efforts, and acknowledged the receipt of over 35,000 letters. He expressed excitement at the new protections for 21 urban river valleys and seven coastal wetlands.
Minister of Municipal Affairs Bill Mauro addressed the OGA over breakfast on Tuesday
Ernie Hardeman, Agriculture and Food Critic for the Progressive Conservatives also commended the Ontario Greenbelt for supporting local food and farming. He stated, "On behalf of Patrick Brown and the PC Caucus, we totally support the Greenbelt."
Take a look a this Twitter Moment for highlights from the morning as they happened, including more photos, quotes from speakers, and insights from OGA members.
Thank you to everyone who took part in the day, and to supporters across the Greenbelt! While we wait for the Province's amendments, you can still send a letter to Minister of Municipal Affairs Mauro to support the protection and expansion of the Greenbelt. It's critical that we ensure Greenbelt boundaries are permanently protected from unbridled sprawl, and that the Growth Plan is working to help cities and growing municipalities develop responsibly.