TORONTO – Citizens in communities across Ontario will knock doors on November 26, mobilizing opposition to the government’s revived plan to open up 7,400 acres of protected Greenbelt land for development and to build Highway 413.
“The Premier was going to carve up the Greenbelt four years ago,” said Mike Schreiner. “But the people spoke out in overwhelming numbers and he was forced to back down.
“The Premier’s recent reversal on Bill 28 shows once again that he will backtrack when the heat is turned up. So we’re going to turn up the heat.”
On November 26, supporters will knock on doors in their communities, engaging their neighbours, distributing informational literature and collecting signatures on a petition calling on the government to abandon its Greenbelt development proposal and to cancel Highway 413.
“Carving off parcels of the Greenbelt as gifts to pro-sprawl developers and wealthy land speculators is just plain wrong,” said Schreiner.
“It puts our farmland at risk as well as people’s property as the frequency and severity of extreme weather events escalates. All this on top of Bill 23, which guts Conservation Authorities’ powers and the province’s wetland protection system.”
Schreiner said the proposal is based on the false choice between protecting the environment and building desperately needed housing.
“Ontario is in a housing crisis and we need to build more homes. But opening up environmentally sensitive areas like the Greenbelt for expensive sprawl development is not the answer,” he said.
“We need to build the type of housing that people can afford, in the communities they want to live in. That means real solutions like building midrise on main streets and transit corridors, and allowing fourplexes and walk-up apartments in neighbourhoods. It means making use of the existing built-up space we have in Ontario instead of bulldozing wetlands, floodplains and farmland.”