A Letter From Our President on the New Greenbelt Legislation
OCTOBER 18, 2023 – On Monday, the Province introduced legal changes to the Greenbelt. The new law will return the controversial 7,400 acres of farmland and natural areas back into the Greenbelt.
Small Change Fund supports this legislation and is looking forward to Queen’s Park holding legislative hearings to hear from experts, and conducting a thorough review of the Bill. We had called for this legislation just after the lands were removed last November, and it is the correct course of action.
Ontarians are proud of, and care passionately for their Greenbelt and the 2 million acres of protected farmlands, forests, wetlands and waterways.
The new law reflects this love for the Greenbelt:
-adding over 9,000 acres of additional land (on top of putting back the 7,400 acres previously removed)
– making it far more difficult for governments to remove land
– implementing a 10-year review process that is overseen by a non-partisan, independent expert committee
With these proposed changes, the Greenbelt will never again be attacked and changed in secret, behind closed doors.
However, other actions by this provincial government still threaten some parts of the Greenbelt, specifically the proposed new highways such as Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass, which would run through the Greenbelt.
What’s more, forced urban boundary expansions and the improper use of Ministerial Zoning Orders threaten the Greenbelt and the lands surrounding it. These must be reversed.
And finally, new sand and gravel pits should be prohibited in the Greenbelt, and all old development proposals that were approved prior to the land protections coming into force, must be stopped.
Step one is done with this new law, and now the Province needs to abandon its many other proposed actions that will harm the Greenbelt.
While this success energizes us, the work is not over. We look forward to your continued support going forward.
President, Small Change Fund