Letter re: Green Belt Expansion by Charles Hooker

Published March 1, 2021

Sir/Madam:

As I’m already inside the Green Belt, I have no personal interest in your proposal to expand the Green Belt, only a concern that it be done properly.

The Green Belt should be expanded by absorbing the former McGuinty government’s White Belt, not by enlarging outward.  Here’s why:

– The White Belt, slated for “development,” encompasses some of the best farmland in Canada, which – because of its proximity to the GTHA – is a desirable and transport-efficient source of basic food.

– The GTHA is too politically powerful:  its mayors can demand ever more money from federal and provincial governments in return for electoral support.  It must not be allowed to grow any more.

– Growth is not an inevitable goal for southern Ontario.  Taken to its limit, it would pave over all of the province’s farmland despite the Green Belt.

– Central and northern Ontario municipalities are suffering reductions in population because their infrastructure needs are not being addressed.  The land there is less suitable for farming and in some cases cannot be farmed because of pollution.  Make those areas more attractive for development, cut off GTHA expansion, and people will move north.

– Expanding the developed area around the GTHA could conceivably also expand the area of gun violence, so far largely contained within the GTHA.

Ignore the developer lobby, who probably have options on the White Belt region.  Expand the Green Belt internally by absorbing the White Belt, and protect the province’s best farmland.

Editor’s Note: for more information on Ontario’s plans to grow the Green Belt around Toronto, see https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/60368/ontario-takes-steps-to-grow-the-greenbelt.

SUBSCRIBE TO THE OLA NEWSLETTER