‘Reducing protection is disastrous’: Greenbelt development plan under fire
Changes will reduce protection for smaller wetlands and critical habitat, writes Bob Bowles
Sunday, December 4, 2022
I was nine in October 1954, when Hurricane Hazel hit the Carolinas hard, then drove north into Toronto with three days of high winds and flooding.
I visited Toronto that week. We detoured around missing bridges and gaps in highways, saw large bridges over the Humber River gone, cars and tractor-trailers flipped over, and houses covered with water to the roof or floating down rivers. Disastrous and not forgotten.
The Ontario government promised this wouldn’t happen again.
It would prevent building on floodplains and wetlands by forming Conservation Ontario, now with 36 conservation authorities, to regulate planning and development in these sensitive areas.
A Ducks Unlimited wetland analysis report (1982) estimated 70 per cent wetland loss in southern Ontario since European settlement. That climbed to 85 per cent by 2002 — and higher today.