The province has undertaken a consultation to expand the Greenbelt.
This consultation closes Monday April 19, 2021 at 11:59PM.
Please consider submitting a comment to the province in support of expansion of this protection beyond the existing boundaries.
We have been working with a number of groups including Ontario Nature, the Ontario Headwaters Institute, as well as MPP Mike Schreiner and others in order to coordinate our efforts to advocate for growing the Greenbelt. We have already endorsed the submissions from Ontario Nature and the OHI. These submissions are well written and thoroughly researched, and we encourage you to learn more by reading them. We are supportive of protection of areas to the west of the existing Greenbelt including the Paris Galt Moraine and the Grand River Watershed. Please join us in our efforts and submit a message to the province.
A very convenient submission tool has been created to help you send your message. Below is a Sample Letter with a Brantford/Brant focus that can be edited, copied, or you can write your own message. When you click on the submission tool you will notice the sample letter you see there is different. If you like the Sustainable Brant/Better Brant letter, you have to replace the sample letter (copy and paste it into the box on the Submission Tool page). You can also feel free to copy/paste portions of the Ontario Nature or OHI submissions to include in your message.
SUSTAINABLE BRANT/BETTER BRANT SAMPLE LETTER:
Dear Members of the Greenbelt Consultation Team,
I appreciate the government’s commitment to grow the Greenbelt. Please see my answer to the consultation questions below.
Question 1: What are your thoughts on the initial focus area of the Study Area of the Paris Galt Moraine?
The County of Brant is dependent upon ground water. Brantford and Six Nations of the Grand River and other downstream communities are dependent upon the river. In order to protect the water sources for Brantford and the County of Brant and people downstream, we need to include
- the entire Paris-Galt moraine as depicted in the Blackport report (2009)
- headwaters, streams, creeks and wetlands of the Grand River
- Orangeville Moraine
- Waterloo Moraine
- Greenbelt the Grand River watershed and all areas in the Bluebelt map.
- Land contiguous with the Greenbelt in the County of Brant
Question 2: What are the considerations in moving from a Study Area to a more defined boundary of the Paris Galt Moraine?
This is too limited an area. Include all areas mentioned in Question 1 and
- recognize the dependency of communities up and down the Grand River on groundwater and the Grand River
- extend protection of the Paris-Galt Moraine into Norfolk County (see mapping in the 2009 Blackport Report commissioned by the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Parks)
Question 3: What are your thoughts on the initial focus area of adding, expanding and further protecting Urban River Valleys?
The Grand River watershed is the largest river watershed in southern Ontario, and it has been designated as a Heritage River. Therefore, it is important to include the headwaters, streams, creeks and wetlands of the Grand River Watershed as well as all Urban River Valleys in the Greater Golden Horseshoe
Question 4: Do you have suggestions for other potential areas to grow the Greenbelt?
- Greenbelt the areas proposed in the Bluebelt map see below (Ontario Greenbelt Alliance),
- Greenbelt the natural heritage and agricultural systems in the Greater Golden horseshoe.
- Allow additions to the natural heritage mapping (for example, the Natural Heritage area east of Brantford contiguous with the current western border of the Greenbelt between Hwy 403 and Colborne St. is missing).
Question 5: How should we balance or prioritize any potential Greenbelt expansion with the other provincial priorities mentioned below?
My suggestions support policies such as
- Ontario’s Biodiversity Strategy,
- Ontario’s Wetland Conservation Strategy,
- Ontario’s Great Lakes Strategy,
- Ontario’s Provincial Policy Statement: protecting prime agricultural land. See map below
- The Greenbelt Act should default to the policy offering the highest level of protection for water, natural heritage and farmland protection, including municipal policies.
Expansion of the Greenbelt will enable these key concepts:
Housing: reduce sprawl development
The Neptis Foundation (2017) found that there is more than enough land already designated for development to meet future housing needs in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (except Toronto and Peel).Build complete communities the within current urban settlement boundaries,Develop brownfields
Transportation: Reduce our dependency on cars
Promote complete and walkable communities with public transitCOVID19 has reduced the need to commute, with more people working from home
Minister’s Zoning Orders (MZOs)-protect water, natural heritage and farmland
Do not use MZOs to fast-track development on natural areas and farmland.
Question 6: Are there other priorities that should be considered?
Meaningful consultation with Six Nations of the Grand and the Mississaugas of the Credit, including the traditional leaders and communities.
Climate Change: Nature-based solutions will help us to lessen and adapt to the risks and impacts of climate change. For example, in 2019, the Grand River watershed experienced severe flooding, particularly in Brantford. Natural features reduce flood damage and financial losses. Expanding the Greenbelt will protect biodiversity, particularly species at risk. The Greenbelt will help to protect wildlife corridors, thus reducing habitat loss.
Health and well-being: The Greenbelt expansion will contribute to clean air and water, the local food economy, access to nature – particularly important during the COVID19 crisis.
I would also like to endorse the submissions of
Ontario Nature: https://view.publitas.com/on-nature/expanding-ontarios-greenbelt/page/1
and the Ontario Headwaters Institute: https://waterscape.ca/wp-content/uploads/PDF-Version-of-Submission-of-March-31-with-App-A.pdf
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