THE GREENBELT IS GROWING AGAIN!
Over the last six months, Councils in Oakville Toronto and Mississauga voted to support the Urban River Valley designation, which means important river valleys, like the Don, Humber and Credit, will be further protected under the provincial Greenbelt. See our report Good Things are Growing in Ontario: Expanding Ontario’s Greenbelt Through Urban River Valleys for more on the importance of this designation.
PROTECT YOUR RIGHT TO SPEAK OUT: TAKE ACTION ON SLAPP LAWSUITS
SLAPP lawsuits (strategic lawsuits against public participation) are meant to intimidate people from speaking out on matters of public interest. Recently, a residents group, the Rural Burlington Greenbelt Coalition, was concerned about the impact of dumping in their local environment. While the municipality responded by enforcing the bylaw, the corporate landowner, Burlington Airpark filed a lawsuit against the citizens.
Environmental Defence co-ordinates the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance. Some of our member groups have faced or been threatened with these lawsuits, which attempt to undermine their ability to speak out.
Citizens’ ability to speak out in a public forum when our quality of life is threatened is a fundamental freedom and a cornerstone of a democratic society. Let’s protect free speech in Ontario. You can help!
Take action by asking the province to pass anti-Slapp legislation.
A NEW HIGHWAY THROUGH THE GREENBELT? HAVE YOUR SAY….
Yes, you read that title correctly. Community consultations have begun about a new highway that would run right through the Greenbelt.
More highways aren’t the answer to the Greater Golden Horseshoe’s traffic jams. They’ll just mean more people sitting in cars. If there is money to invest in infrastructure, those funds should go to investing in public transit, or high speed rail. And we’ll be making sure elected officials hear that message loud and clear.
The route under consideration extends from the Guelph area to highway 400 and is located just north of the 407. Community consultation workshops are occurring this summer. Register to attend by calling 905-747-1743. Workshops are scheduled on the evenings of July 29th in Mississauga and August 13th in Brampton.
We’ll be sure to update you about other ways you can make your voice heard. Let’s protect Ontario’s Greenbelt – not pave over paradise to put up a highway.
WEAK FEDERAL LEGISLATION THREATENS ROUGE PARK
We were disappointed by the federal government’s draft legislation, Bill C-40, Rouge National Urban Park Act. The legislation fails to meet the standards needed for a national park that respects ecological integrity as well as provincial Greenbelt and Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Acts and Great Lakes Water Quality Improvement Plans.
Environmental Defence, Ontario Nature and the Friends of the Rouge recently urged the Ontario government to refrain from transferring any of the provincial-owned Rouge Park lands to the federal government until the Province and the public are satisfied that the federal legislation respects and strengthens existing provincial policies that protect our watersheds and Lake Ontario, endangered species and natural habitats as well as farmland.
Make your voice heard about plans for the Rouge National Urban Park. Attend a public meeting this fall and fill out this survey about the management plan. Let the federal government know we need a stronger Rouge National Urban Park Act that makes ecological health a priority.