Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition among groups calling for expanded investigation into Ontario planning policy changes
Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition executive director Margaret Prophet
From Simcoe.com August 19, 2023
By Chris Simon
A local advocacy group has added its voice to a chorus of associations calling for a deeper probe into planning policy changes made by the Ontario government within the last year.
The Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition is among more than 20 individuals and organizations who are part of the Alliance for a Liveable Ontario and have sent a letter to the province’s auditor-general and integrity commissioner, asking for the investigation.
This comes about a week after a scathing report from auditor-general Bonnie Lysyk found the governing Progressive Conservatives “favoured certain developers” in a controversial $8.28-billion Greenbelt land swap, part of the province’s attempt to open up land to meet its target of building 1.5 million new homes by 2031.
“Not only were rules changed to allow certain developer lands to be included in the exercise, but environmental oversights were removed to ensure the process benefited a select few without any consideration for the integrity of the Greenbelt or the lands it protects,” coalition executive director Margaret Prophet wrote in a Simcoe.com column following the release of Lysyk’s report.
The alliance document notes the “host of policy changes” made by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing since July 2022 and it expresses concern over “little to no public input” gathered to date.
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