Thousands of Residents Tell Government to Grow Our Greenbelt and Protect More of Ontario's Water

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 19, 2016

Thousands of Residents Tell Government to Grow Our Greenbelt and Protect More of Ontario's Water

#GrowOurGB campaign builds momentum as residents call on Province to protect a "bluebelt" of vital water resources

On October 19, over 500 Ontario residents took to social media to send a coordinated Thunderclap to share their support to grow the Greenbelt, hoping that Minister of Municipal Affairs Bill Mauro and Premier Kathleen Wynne will take note. The #GrowOurGB campaign is asking the Province to take the next step in protecting our vital water resources to include Simcoe, Wellington, Waterloo, Brant, and Northumberland counties in the Greenbelt.

Over a thousand residents participated in sharing, liking, tweeting and posting the #GrowOurGB message to government, reaching over 2 million people with this important message. Since the launch of the #GrowOurGB campaign, over 7,500 letters have been sent to Minister Mauro in support of expanding the Greenbelt to protect water resources beyond the current recommendation.

The campaign is coordinated by a coalition of 120 member groups across the region who support a more resilient, sustainable future for Ontario. 

#GrowOurGB is supported by well-known Canadians and activists, including authors Margaret Atwood and Maude Barlow, urban planner Ken Greenberg, and singer-songwriter Sarah Harmer.

"Protecting and expanding the Greenbelt means protecting our clean, safe, and adequate water supply and our local food supply, guarding against floods and pollution, and ensuring a balance between healthy human populations and the resources they need," said author and activist Margaret Atwood. "Getting that balance wrong can lead not only to misery and ugliness but also to death. The recent lessons of Flint, Michigan, should not be lost on us."

"The Province took the right first step by proposing to grow the Greenbelt to include 21 urban river valleys and 7 coastal wetlands, but this campaign is about going further to make sure water resources are protected where they are most at risk," said Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. "Once these precious resources are lost, they can never be restored. We need to act now to protect water sources so we have clean water, flood protection, and a resilient, sustainable future."

Events were held in Simcoe Brant, Northumberland and Hamilton to coincide with the social media campaign. In Simcoe, residents held a public forum in Midhurst featuring David Crombie, Mayor Bill French of Springwater, and local farmers and water activists including Indigenous activist Becky Big Canoe. In Brant, activists organized a Grow the Greenbelt canoe ride, Water Fest and public meeting.

Residents can add their voice to the growing movement to Grow the Greenbelt by visiting www.growourgreenbelt.ca and sending a letter to Minister Mauro in support of protecting Ontario's water.

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About the Greenbelt:

Ontario’s Greenbelt is the solution for fresh air, clean water, healthy local food, active outdoor recreation, and a thriving economy. 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. Learn more at: greenbelt.ca

Contact:

Erica Woods
Communications Manager
Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation
Office: (416) 960-0001, ext. 306
Mobile: (647)834-5657
ewoods@greenbelt.ca

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