Former Premier Joins Protest Against Greenbelt Housing Plans by Ford Government


Tuesday saw a gathering of over one hundred individuals, among them a former premier, convening to express their apprehensions concerning the persisting debacle surrounding the Greenbelt that has blemished the Ford government.

The meeting had been organized by the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition, a forum that combined both experts and apprehensive citizens from across the county. Both groups stood united in their concern against the provincial government’s proposed measure to allocate parts of the Greenbelt for housing development.

Margaret Prophet, the executive director of the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition, voiced her belief that the onus should have been on the MPPs to initiate such a dialogue, providing the people with the platform they rightly deserve in a democratic setup.

The assembly was graced by the likes of former Toronto Mayor and Greenbelt Council Chair David Crombie, and former Beausoleil First Nations Chief Jeff Monague, along with Tim Gray from Environmental Defence and Franz Hartmann from the Alliance for a Liveable Ontario. Post their individual addresses to the crowd, attendees opened up with their questions and concerns to these panellists, all of whom boast an environmental background.

Tim Gray emphasized that the ultimate accountability falls on the premier, calling him to take responsibility, halt the onslaught on the greenbelt, formulate a concrete plan for affordable housing and attend to the voices of the Ontario public.

Gray further elaborated on the history of the Greenbelt, asserting its significant environmental role. He stressed its duties in safeguarding the future, water supply, air, and mitigating climate change while also guiding urban growth.

David Crombie, another panellist, dismissed the province’s claim that the lands are needed due to a pressing demand for housing. He suggested that the Greenbelt should serve the people’s needs rather than government’s, a thought echoed by the former Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who also attended the meeting in solidarity with those perturbed by the current state of affairs.

Wynne emphasized the importance of the public’s outcry against this crisis and the necessity for the government to take heed.

The Greenbelt controversy has persistently been an issue for the Ford government. Recent developments saw the resignation of the former Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clarke, following incriminating reports into the scandal.

Paul Calandra, Clarke’s appointed successor, recently announced the government’s plan to review all Greenbelt land that may ultimately result further withdrawal of land.

David Crombie remained optimistic that the Ford government can efficiently resolve the issue and anticipates they will. He concluded with a hopeful sentiment, implying that it’s never too late for the government to make amends by reinstating the lands deemed for removal.

The provincial government is yet to respond to the concerns raised during Tuesday’s event organized by the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition.


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