Liberals will Expand Ontario's Greenbelt

Premier Wynne Releases Platform Commitment, Stands Up for Farmland and Green Spaces

May 02, 2018

Premier Kathleen Wynne was at the Humber River in Toronto today to highlight how vital Ontario’s Greenbelt is to the millions of people who live in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, and announce that the forthcoming Ontario Liberal Party platform will commit a re-elected Liberal government to expanding the Greenbelt.

The Ontario Liberals created the Greenbelt to preserve the integrity of our water systems and our farm land. It’s the largest permanently protected Greenbelt of its kind in the world — a promise to this generation and the next that Ontario will be a province with fresh air, clean water, healthy local food, active outdoor recreation and a thriving economy.

Last year, Premier Wynne’s government launched a consultation on expanding the Greenbelt. Today, the Premier revealed that the Ontario Liberal election platform commits to continuing to grow the Greenbelt.

If re-elected on June 7, a Liberal government will build on its record of environmental protection by expanding the Greenbelt into ecologically sensitive areas such as the Waterloo and Paris/Galt Moraine complex, the Orangeville Moraine, the Oro Moraine, and the Nottawasaga River corridor, as well as additional wetlands and small moraines in Dufferin and Simcoe counties. This expansion was recommended by an expert government advisory panel and the areas outlined have been part of a community consultation.

Meanwhile, Conservative leader Doug Ford can’t keep his promises straight. Behind closed doors, Ford made a secret promise to big developers that a Conservative government would “open a big chunk” of this protected land in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and let developers profit by turning it into urban sprawl and subdivisions. When Ford’s secret deal came to light, he turned around and said he would somehow replace the parts of the Greenbelt that he let developers bulldoze. Now, after two days of public backlash, he’s saying he won’t touch the Greenbelt at all.

What would have happened if Ford’s backroom deal to jeopardize the air and water of Canada’s most populated region hadn’t come to light?

Only one thing is clear: Doug Ford cannot be trusted to protect the Greenbelt or any other protected public land. And whether it’s paving the Greenbelt, selling cannabis in corner stores, or ending rent control, the disturbing promises Ford makes when he thinks voters aren’t around to hear him are piling up. That’s the real Doug Ford.

Unlike Doug Ford, Premier Kathleen Wynne is putting people before profits. The Ontario Liberals are committed to protecting and expanding this world renowned greenspace, because a growing GTHA needs a growing Greenbelt, not a shrinking one.

 

QUOTE

 

“The Greenbelt is where we get our fresh food, it’s where we take our kids hiking and it’s where millions of people get their drinking water. I am outraged that in a secret meeting with developers, Doug Ford put a “For Sale” sign on the Greenbelt. The fact that he is trying to backtrack on that backroom deal raises serious red flags about the real Doug Ford. What other secret deals has he made? And which of his promises are we supposed to believe? As long as I’m Premier, we will protect the land that feeds our kids. Our government will keep our promise to conserve and protect this land, and we will expand the Greenbelt so that the benefits it provides to millions of people are here today and in the future.”

—Premier Kathleen Wynne

 

Quick Facts

  • The Greenbelt covers over 2 million acres of land — an area larger than the size of Prince Edward Island
  • Originally established in 2005, Ontario’s Greenbelt includes farmland, vibrant communities, forests, wetlands, and watersheds
  • The Greenbelt gives us clean water, healthy local food and $2.6 billion per year in ecological services
  • In 2017, the Liberal government added nearly 25,000 acres to the Greenbelt, including 21 new urban river valleys and associated coastal wetland areas that connect to Lake Ontario
  • Expanding the greenbelt is essential to preserving clean air and drinking water, preventing flooding, and protecting the province we know and love
  • Ontario loses 175 acres of farmland to development every day