FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday January 11, 2017
Statement from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation Regarding Provincial Announcement on Proposed Minor Changes to the Greenbelt Boundary
The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation congratulates the Province on their commitment to protect farmland and nature with today’s announcement that only minor, technical changes will be made to Greenbelt boundaries. Minister for Municipal Affairs Bill Mauro has led a thoughtful, evidence-based review process and should be commended for his work in delivering this important achievement for Ontario.
With this proposal, the Province is reaffirming its commitment to protecting farmland from sprawl, and preserving natural heritage in the rural countryside. This decision ensures the protection of 161,000 jobs and $9.1 billion in annual economic activity in the Greenbelt.
During the Review, thousands of residents shared their support for protecting and growing the Greenbelt through petitions, letters, and at public consultations. Today’s decision shows that their voices, as part of the 9 in 10 Ontarians who support the Greenbelt, were heard by their government.
The Province received some 700 requests to remove land from the Greenbelt, and has stood firm in refusing to jeopardize the Greenbelt’s integrity. Instead, only a small number of minor changes to boundaries will be permitted where there were legitimate technical grounds for minor alterations. These adjustments of 58 hectares pale in comparison to the 9,000 hectares of land to be added to the Greenbelt.
“I am thrilled that the government did not remove thousands of acres from the Greenbelt and turn it into a Swiss cheese belt,” said Burkhard Mausberg, CEO Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation.
Nearly 12 years ago, the Greenbelt was created as Ontario’s legacy to the future, securing a permanently protected source of local food, clean water and fresh air. Since its creation, the Greenbelt has safeguarded the viability of farming and supported thriving rural economies throughout the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
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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.
Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation
Office: (416) 960-0001, ext. 306