GUELPH – Mike Schreiner made the following statement in response to the Premier blaming newcomers as justification for opening up 7,400 acres of the Greenbelt for development:
“It is shameful that the Premier is blaming newcomers and increased immigration targets for his broken Greenbelt promise that will lead to the destruction of farmland and nature.
This is a new low for the Premier.
The Premier’s comments are both wildly inaccurate and vile rhetoric — pitting newcomers against the Greenbelt as if it’s a choice between the two. Especially at a time of heightened political division, the Premier scapegoating newcomers as justification for his government’s failing housing policy is dangerous and worrisome.
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.
We need to build the type of housing that people – including newcomers to Ontario – 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.
My message to the Premier is this: Enough with the excuses, blame game and scapegoating on the housing crisis. It’s time for real action and real solutions so all people in Ontario can actually afford a place to call home.”