• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

COLUMN: Ford’s policies don’t align with Simcoe County values Residents ‘ringing the alarms’ about implications of Bill 23, says advocate

In Agriculture
Oct 15th, 2023

Margaret Prophet
about 12 hours ago

This is the second in a three-part series of guest columns from the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition leading up to An Evening with Margaret Atwood, a sold-out fundraising event slated for Oct. 28. The second instalment will be published next Saturday.

In my last column, I spoke about how Simcoe County, its economy, people and communities are deeply connected to the Greenbelt.

I also outlined how this connection has translated into political pressure, with our region seeing some of the most active voices and outpouring of support in response to the corrupted Greenbelt land takeouts. The breadth and depth of this public support stands in stark contrast to the actions of three of our MPPs who were among those voting to take land out of the Greenbelt.

Recent polling confirms the deep connection our region has to the environment. In 2016, Environics found 94 per cent of us in Simcoe County wanted farmland and natural areas protected, and 82 per cent wanted urban development in places where infrastructure already existed — in other words, within existing settlement areas and not as sprawl.

This polling found the strength of support here was even stronger than that found in other areas, including York, Peel, Waterloo, Toronto and Durham.

People in Simcoe County also understand projects like the Bradford Bypass don’t align with responsible development. Another poll, this time by Oracle, found a measly 29 per cent supported the project. This has since dropped to 20 per cent three years later. A large majority of us, 61 per cent, opposes the project.

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