Media Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

To Sprawl or Not to Sprawl? Saving Ontario's Greenbelt

Last chance to give your input to limit sprawl, save watersheds, forests and farmland!

On Wednesday, April 27th at St. Columba’s Church Hall, 2723 St. Clair Ave E, East York at 7:00 p.m. a special evening will bring together a lively panel of experts for a timely information session on urban sprawl into our Greenbelt and the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

The purpose of the evening is to give residents in Toronto's east end the opportunity to hear from experts about how our provincial government proposes to amend the four great land-use plans in Ontario. These include the Greenbelt Plan, the Niagara Escarpment Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Greater Golden Horseshoe Growth Plan. The proposed amendments are to be legislated this June 2016. This evening will allow us to learn what we can do to ensure the preservation of vital farmland, watersheds, and green space surrounding Toronto.

• The keynote speaker comes from Environmental Defence. Susan Lloyd Swail will explain our provincial government's proposals to amend the land use plans and what needs to be done to curb urban sprawl and strengthen the Greenbelt.
• Susan Walmer from Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust will discuss Private Land Conservation.
• Josh Wise from Ontario Nature will speak about Growing the Greenbelt.
• Carl Cosack from Food and Water First will discuss the impact on prime farmland and food security.

Background:
In the early stages of the 2015-16 Greenbelt Review, citizens were invited to public forums. Here they could express their concerns about poorly regulated development occurring in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, despite having Greenbelt protection in place for ten years. David Crombie was invited to form a panel and pull together all this public input into an advisory report, commonly called The Crombie Report. Environmental Defence gave it a B grade. It contained no recommendation to stop infrastructure development through the Greenbelt, no permanent urban boundaries, no mandatory intensification requirements, no reduction in aggregate extraction (except below the water table) and no recommendation for modifying the role of the Ontario Municipal Board. The report left the door open for land removal from the Greenbelt.

The time is short to stop urban sprawl, save our forests, farmlands and watersheds in the Greenbelt and Greater Golden Horseshoe. All Torontonians who care about the land we will leave to our children should attend this event, become informed and take action.

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For further information contact:
Anne Purvis kannepurvis@gmail.com (416) 469-0729

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