Our next post was meant to highlight the environmental aspects of Bill 23 “More Homes Built Faster Act“, but it appears Doug Ford and his Progressive “Conservatives” managed to one-up themselves today by proposing to remove or re-designate 7,400 acres from the Greenbelt. Among the proposed areas up for grabs in Grimsby is the 502 Winston Road lakefront property and a large block near Main Street West.
The timing of the recent request to re-designate part of the Greenbelt lands at 502 Winston Road, as covered in a previous post, and the PCs latest stunt are quite interesting to say the least. Maybe those political donations to the PC party are finally starting to pay off, but more on that in a future 502 Winston post.
It was only last year that Municipal Affairs & Housing Minister Steve Clark was quoted as saying that the government “will not in any way entertain any proposals that will move lands in the Greenbelt, or open the Greenbelt lands to any kind of development.” Seems like a complete rever$al.
According to the CBC:
“Today, Clark is announcing a 30-day consultation on removing about 7,400 acres from the Greenbelt over 15 different areas and if that proceeds, landowners will be expected to develop housing plans quickly.”
Sounds like those bulldozers are already fueled up and ready to go.
Whether the Province is really listening to the public and stakeholders or this is simply an exercise with a pre-determined outcome has yet to be determined. There is a big difference between public engagement and “meaningful” public engagement.
Here is the headline that Province put out:
They don’t immediately mention removing/re-designating the 7,400 acres of Greenbelt but instead try and dress it up as if they are expanding the Greenbelt.
The “bait” the Province has added to try and soften the proposed 7,400 acre loss, is they will add 9,400 acres (2,000 net) to the Greenbelt in the form of the Paris Galt Moraine in Wellington County. But in reality they were already looking at adding this area to the Greenbelt back in March of this year, so it looks like they tried to dress up this “Friday news dump” with something that was already under consideration.
Grimsby Lands At Risk
The proposal from the Province including all of the lands to be removed or re-designated and the chunk to be added can be found at this link here. Map 11 is the one of interest to Grimsby residents, and it describes the areas to be removed as:
That unfortunately doesn’t tell the whole story. It does not mention the proposed re-designation of the 502 Winston Lands as per the actual map which would open it up for future development. The map was difficult to read (perhaps by design), so we annotated it:
Not even being a year into this term, it makes you wonder how far the pillaging and plundering of Ontario will go with “Dozer Doug” at the helm of the Provincial Government. This could also just be another way to draw heat from Bill 23, let people fight for the Greenbelt while Bill 23 marches along by distracting them or taxing the resources of those who are against these proposals.
Of course, our local MPP wants to hear your thoughts on the “proposed changes” to the Greenbelt, so we suggest also contacting Sam Oosterhoff at his constituency office. You can contact him at the following: