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Have you registered to speak at the Official Plan Special Meeting and/or submitted comments to your Regional Councillors?
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We are getting close to the finish line as the final draft Official Plan and Envision Durham process hits a Special Durham Council meeting on May 17th. We know you're all pretty weary of this because it's been a long process.  Trouble is, our planet is in peril and the clock is running out. Land use policy is climate policy. It's now or never for this 30-year plan that will guide growth in the Region. So many of you have made helpful suggestions throughout the multi-year journey; it's time for all of us to finish strong!
Watersheds across Durham stand to be adversely impacted including the Carruthers Creek Headwaters above Ajax. The lush rolling landscape will be urbanized if this Official Plan is locked in as is. If you care deeply about our watersheds and are concerned about the steep costs of preparing for and mitigating flood risk, this is the moment to raise your hand and make your voice heard.
Materials to be considered at this Special Meeting, including the recommended final draft Regional Official Plan, will be available on May 3 HERE.
We're here to help you!  
Want to know why sprawl is bad for us? Visit: Why stop S P R A W L?  
Want to understand for yourself if we actually need the amount of land proposed for new areas? Read our submission to the Auditor General of Ontario. Or this report from former Waterloo Chief Planner, Kevin Eby.
What to see how Regional Councillors voted for BILD-proposed plan a year ago? Watch the meeting linked on this page (scroll down).
Need help sending a letter to your Regional Councillor? Find an email list here.
Suggested wording for a letter (don't forget to personalize the wording to make it your own!):
Durham Region’s Draft Official Plan is a multigenerational screw-up of epic proportions!
Taken together, recent decisions of Durham Council and the Province will push roughly 14,000 acres of new sprawl outward onto prime farmland and natural landscapes. It means these precious acres of farmland, wetland and woodland will be destroyed forever! It means taxpayers will pay higher taxes to subsidize infrastructure costs for the benefit of big developers. It means this plan will undermine our ability to build the compact, climate-resilient communities that are urgently required. 
Please vote against this draft and work to reduce the amount of land proposed for growth areas. Maximize the land that we already have allocated and allow inching outwards only when no other option remains. I urge you not to cave to pressure from the development industry. Put the needs of your constituents - present and future - first. 
Lobbyists for the building and development industry are at the front of the line asking for a HUGE SLICE OF CAKE, and their haste to secure it will disadvantage all of us. Durham Region can offer them the smallest possible slice first and then only offer more when the shared consequences are better understood, and builders can tangibly demonstrate the benefits of securing more “cake” to everyone, not just those at the VIP table
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Have you signed this letter which is now sent to Ford, Clark, Bethlenfalvy and Ashe? Click and send now!
We know what you must be thinking! Why target Pickering Mayor Kevin Ashe? Didn't he vote to oppose the Greenbelt carveouts and urbanization of DRAP on December 5, 2022 with the rest of Pickering Council? He did! But...
"Dear Minister Clark,
You recently received a letter from Mayor Ryan requesting the repeal of the Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve Act, 2005, in the city of Pickering. As the newly elected mayor of the city, I would like to support this request."
Don't fancy what we've pre-drafted in the automated letter? You can go ahead and edit in the text box to make it your own. Personalization of these letters is always a great idea!
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Pickering NOT A WILLING HOST for an airport!
It’s official! Pickering is NOT A WILLING HOST for an airport and will be a champion of high frequency rail instead!

It was another late night at Council, but in a vote of 6-1, the city returned to the historic position of opposition to an airport in north Pickering.

Led by Councillors Nagy and Cook, the motion that had been twice deferred, passed with support from Councillors Brenner, Butt, Robinson and Pickles. Mayor Ashe, while not opposed to an airport, did vote in support of advocacy for high frequency rail. 
Please write the councillors who voted in support of this motion and thank them!
Next, please ask your Regional Councillors to strip out wording in the draft Durham Official Plan that indicates strong support for an airport as part of the Region's economic development goals. Read more in the submission by Land Over Landings to Envision Durham (written prior to recent “not a willing host” motion). 
You can add the suggested paragraph below to the email to regional councillors that you're sending (see Official Plan section above):
Please remove mention of airport and related services on the Pickering Lands in the draft Official Plan. The Plan must not pin future economic benefits and prosperity on the operations of an unapproved and increasingly unlikely potential future airport. I request that the policy directions in the Official Plan be modified, especially given the recent motion informing the Region that Pickering is NOT A WILLING HOST for an airport.
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RNUP Study Info Sessions this Tuesday and Thursday
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The study examining the cumulative effects of development projects on the integrity of RNUP kicks off this week. You can attend in-person sessions in Pickering on Tuesday, or register for the virtual session on Thursday evening. 
The goal is to inform the public about the planning process to establish the scope and approach for the Rouge National Urban Park Study and future opportunities for public participation, and to solicit comments.
Session 1 - May 2, 2023
12:00 to 3:00PM
Chestnut Hill Developments Recreation Complex, 
1867 Valley Farm Road, Pickering, ON L1V 3Y7
Session 2 - May 2, 2023
5:00 to 8:00PM
Chestnut Hill Developments Recreation Complex, 
1867 Valley Farm Road, Pickering, ON L1V 3Y7
Session 3 - May 4, 2023
7:00 to 8:30PM
Register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Recent Media
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Print and share this poster in your neighbourhood! (click on it to download)
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Are you a council watcher in your municipality? Can you help us keep track of sprawling issues? Please email us and tell us more about what you're watching!