We won! The people of Durham Region won. Let this be a shining example of the power of civic action and active participation in your community. We would like to thank every single person who came to rallies, made calls, signed petitions, and emailed their MPP. Dedicated journalists kept the heat on this issue when it mattered, and we are grateful for their hard work. Today’s announcement is proof that collective action has an impact and that our voices matter.
While we may have won this round, the ongoing story is the influence of private interests over good governance and sound planning decisions. The battles still to be fought are against the backroom deals that accelerate unnecessary sprawl and the use of undemocratic Ministerial Zoning Orders. The Greenbelt is well known and beloved by Ontarians, but other vulnerable areas of prime farmland, wetlands, and woodlots need our attention too. This movement does not stop with Premier Ford’s reversal of the Greenbelt cuts.
We call on the Ontario government to fully repeal Bill 23 and 39, and reinstate the Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve and the easements. Such an egregious assault on Ontario’s protected areas and fertile foodlands cannot be allowed to happen again.
Stop Sprawl Durham will continue to advocate for complete communities with a range of housing types within our existing urban boundaries. We will push our leaders to advance affordable housing options while protecting natural heritage and agricultural systems, investing in frequent transit, creating neighbourhoods that are safe for walking and cycling, and helping us all reduce our carbon footprints.
Premier Ford made a grave mistake. He disregarded how much Ontarians care about our natural areas, which are key to mitigating the climate, biodiversity, and affordability crises. We hope he has learned that voters really don’t like it when politicians don’t keep their promises! Especially when it comes to matters of such vital importance to our health and that of future generations.
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