Growing The Greenbelt

    McGuinty Government Ready To Expand The Greenbelt

    TORONTO, Aug. 13 /CNW/ -


    Ontarians' ideas have shaped new rules for the expansion of the
Greenbelt's boundaries.
    These new criteria, released today, will be used to assess municipal
requests to expand the Greenbelt, helping to grow and further protect more
forests, wetlands and farmlands. Municipalities can seek guidance from the
province before submitting their request.
    The criteria, developed through consultation with the public,
municipalities and stakeholders, make it clear that requests to remove areas
from the Greenbelt or reduce its size will not be considered.
    Growing the Greenbelt is part of the government's broader plan to protect
the environment and manage growth strategically. In addition to the Greenbelt,
the plan includes the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, land-use
planning reforms, proposed Lake Simcoe protection strategy and a sustainable
transportation network under Metrolinx.


    "By taking steps to grow the Greenbelt, we're helping communities protect
their environmentally sensitive and agricultural lands, and promote more
sustainable development," said Jim Watson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and

    "Oakville's residents, like the rest of the GTA, want the strongest
possible protection for greenspace and environmental systems and features. As
a co-founder of the Municipal Leaders for the Greenbelt, I can say we are
looking forward to working with the Ministry to reach that goal to benefit
everyone today and future generations," said Oakville Mayor Rob Burton.

    "The criteria represent an important step forward in the process of
expanding the Greenbelt. I am of course pleased that the Ontario Government is
responding to the Greenbelt Council's advice to commence development of
criteria to expand the Greenbelt," said Dr. Robert Elgie, Chair of the
Greebelt Council.

    "By allowing expansions to the Greenbelt, the McGuinty government is
giving municipalities the power to protect valuable land in their communities.
I encourage municipalities to seize this opportunity to safeguard Ontario's
precious greenspace for generations to come," said Dr. Rick Smith of
Environmental Defence.


    -   In 2007, the province committed to working with municipalities on
        ways to consider requests to expand the Greenbelt.
    -   Regional, county and single-tier municipalities are able to request
        expansions to the Greenbelt.
    -   The Greenbelt, which permanently protects 1.8 million acres of
        agricultural and environmentally sensitive land around the Greater
        Golden Horseshoe, is an area larger than Prince Edward Island.


    Read about the criteria for growing the Greenbelt
    Find out more about Ontario's Greenbelt
( ).

                                                      Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Adam Grachnik, Minister's Office, (416)

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Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

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