Corp Comm Connects

An open letter to Caroline Mulroney regarding Bill 23
Nov. 16, 2022

To York-Simcoe MPP Caroline Mulroney,

The Greenbelt Act was created to preserve environmentally sensitive lands in the Greater Toronto Area, protecting them from urban development.

I am concerned the Ontario government's More Homes Built Faster plan proposes to allow construction of low-density housing on parts of these protected lands, trading them away for land that's less ecologically significant, less desirable and less valuable.

The housing crisis is the purported justification for the short-sighted surrender of the Greenbelt lands, because of their proximity to areas already settled. The actual justification, I fear, is short-term gain.

This is an impending tragedy. Once the precedent is set, more of the Greenbelt lands will subsequently be offered to developers using precisely this argument. Eventually, the original Greenbelt in its entirety will give way to a much different protected area, unrecognizable as such.

Once these irreplaceable original Greenbelt lands are developed, there is no way they can ever be restored to their natural state. In their place will be the very urban development that the Greenbelt Act was designed to protect against.

The Greenbelt Act is the result of foresight and careful planning. It was drafted in anticipation of a housing crisis. That is why it exists. To sell out the original Greenbelt lands to urban development defeats the purpose of the Greenbelt Act, and that is unconscionable.

Ontario has a plethora of prospective sites for development, many within proximity to settled areas. The Greenbelt is not one of them yet, and it should never become one. Please, do not do this. It cannot be undone.