Reverse the Greenbelt grab
Stephanie from the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition
From Simcoe.com, August 15, 2023
Ontario’s auditor general recently concluded that Doug Ford’s Greenbelt land grabs were “biased,” with “certain prominent developers receiving preferential treatment.” Developers with access to the housing minister’s chief of staff received 92 per cent of the protected land, which will line their pockets with $8.3 billion.
The government says it is implementing 14 out of the auditor’s 15 recommendations, but will not correct this indefensible decision. If Conservative MPPs are really “for the people,” they would be accountable to the public outrage and the watchdog who caught them red-handed.
Instead, they are insulting us with lies that these lands were removed to address the housing crisis. Numerous reports, including from the Conservative’s hand-picked housing affordability task force, state there is enough land in existing urban boundaries to meet the 1.5-million-homes target.
We need to build affordable houses and transit where services and infrastructure already exist. New highways and sprawl cost more taxpayer dollars, increase greenhouse-gas emissions during a climate crisis, require more aggregate (which threatens groundwater), pave over farmland, worsen public health, and are less affordable than building the “missing middle” in existing communities.
In 2018, Ford was caught on tape telling developers he was going to carve up the Greenbelt, so this should be no surprise. Some of these developers attended his daughter’s wedding festivities. All MPPs are complicit unless they reverse course.
We demand that all Conservative MPPs represent public interests instead of defending this corruption.
Stephanie Wolfe, Alliston