Municipal leaders call on PC leader Hudak to take a position on the Greenbelt

TORONTO, Sept. 30, 2011 /CNW/ - Municipal leaders from across the GTA today called on Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak to make clear his party's position on the future of Ontario's Greenbelt.

"We have twice written to Mr. Hudak since May seeking his position on the Greenbelt and still don't know where he stands," said Ajax Mayor Steve Parish, co-chair of the Municipal Leaders for the Greenbelt. "The Liberals, NDP and Green Party all responded to the first letter and their responses all support the Greenbelt. Ontario families deserve to know what Mr. Hudak would do if elected Premier."

The municipal leaders wrote letters to the four party leaders on May 26. A follow up letter was written to Mr. Hudak on August 16.

In both letters, the Municipal leaders reminded Mr. Hudak that "in 2007, your party committed to conserve the Greenbelt area around the GTA and preserve its boundaries. Your party also committed to establishing a Land Conservation Challenge Fund to help people near the Greenbelt deal with its impact, and to fund projects across the province that protects ecological features."

"We are looking to the next Provincial government to continue to protect and enhance the Greenbelt and it is incumbent on all leaders to make their positions clear before voters cast their ballots," said Oakville Mayor Rob Burton, co-chair of the municipal leaders group.

The Municipal leaders say that hearing from all parties in this particular election is essential as the Greenbelt policy is up for a pivotal review in 2015, during the mandate of the next government.

"The Greenbelt has had a significant positive impact on the landscape of southern Ontario, and as municipal leaders we are keen to know the Ontario PC Party's position on its protection and enhancement," said Guelph Mayor Karen Farbridge, co-chair of the Municipal Leaders for the Greenbelt.

A poll commissioned by the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance (OGA) in May showed overwhelming support by Ontarians to strengthen the Greenbelt in advance of the provincial election.  It found that 70 per cent of Ontarians favour strengthening the Greenbelt to protect greenspace and agricultural land. And 53 per cent of those respondents also said a party's position on the Greenbelt would influence their vote in the provincial election.

"Ontarians have made it clear that protection of the Greenbelt is important to them and they need to know it's important to their provincial government," said Toronto Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker, co-chair of the group.

Municipal Leaders for the Greenbelt is a network of 70 elected councillors and mayors who support the Greenbelt as a permanent feature of Ontario's landscape. They are committed to maintaining the boundaries of the Greenbelt, encouraging the development of Natural Heritage Systems in Greenbelt-adjacent communities and ensuring that planning decisions adhere to the Greenbelt Plan.

SOURCE Municipal Leaders for the Greenbelt

For further information:

Stuart Green, Manager of Communications, Town of Ajax
p: 905-619-2529 ext. 3362
e: stuart.green@townofajax.com

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Municipal Leaders for the Greenbelt

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