News   Jun 14, 2024
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Greenbelt developments

The Greenbelt Council will need a new Chair after the demise of ex-Mayor McCallion (who was appointed when David Crombie resigned in disgust). No doubt we can expect Doug to appoint another 'independent person' who just happens to support his plans to pave over large parts of it.
 
The Greenbelt Council will need a new Chair after the demise of ex-Mayor McCallion (who was appointed when David Crombie resigned in disgust). No doubt we can expect Doug to appoint another 'independent person' who just happens to support his plans to pave over large parts of it.

It’s not nice to say, but I’ll say it. Good.

Now, who can Doug put as chair next? One of the Cortelluccis?
 
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It’s not nice to say, but I’ll say it. Good.

Now, who can Doug put as chair next? One of the Cortelluccis?

Doug will only want yes people.

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^Or maybe even a Muzzo...

The Feds are reportedly planning on potentially intervening in this Greenbelt fiasco. I generally don't like it when the federal government has to come in on provincial matters, but the Greenbelt is large and significant enough as a protected area that I'm of the opinion it should gain some degree of federal protection, or at the very least, increased federal attention. There is additional significance in this situation regarding the potential of corruption. While what is going around regarding the potential corruption situation could very much just be noise, the choice to open these very specific parcels of land up for development instead of further accelerating the development and intensifying the planned density of the remaining whitebelt lands (I say "further" because there are indeed recent changes to some of these lands) certainly should raise some eyebrows. Arbitrarily removing sections of the Greenbelt defeats the purpose of the Greenbelt, and that is not a precedent that should be set. Even if it is determined that these decisions were not influenced by corruption, this should still attract scrutiny.

If only there were other cities in Ontario located outside of the GTA/Greenbelt that could easily support the overflow of housing demand and benefit from increased provincial investment/attention...
I'm in full support of the Feds checking Fords pure and egregious level of stupidity here. Most especially if what I suspect is happening here, is actually taking place.
 
The Feds will be announcing a study of the of Ford government's move to open up the Greenbelt in/around Rouge Park which will likely block any provincial moves pending completion of said study.

We'll get all the details at 1pm today.

Currently paywalled:

 
The Feds will be announcing a study of the of Ford government's move to open up the Greenbelt in/around Rouge Park which will likely block any provincial moves pending completion of said study.

We'll get all the details at 1pm today.

Currently paywalled:

The federal government is launching an environmental study of Rouge National Urban Park to better understand the impacts of housing developments planned by the Ford government in the surrounding Greenbelt, the Star has learned.

The study, which would assess the park’s biodiversity, ecological connectivity and other natural features, could delay development of the Duffins Rouge Agriculture Preserve — a 4,700-acre tract of land immediately adjacent to Rouge park, which was opened up as part of the province’s controversial Greenbelt land swap in November.

Last fall, Parks Canada — which oversees the Rouge Park — criticized the Doug Ford government’s decision to open up adjacent land in a letter, saying the decision was made without consultation and could cause “irreversible harm” to wildlife, including endangered species.

Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault will be in Markham on Tuesday to announce that he has asked the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada to conduct the study alongside Parks Canada and the federal environment department. The study is not a federal impact assessment, which is normally applied to infrastructure projects such as Highway 413.
Guilbeault’s office has been swamped with expressions of concerns over Ford’s Greenbelt plans and its impacts, including on threatened species. The minister has previously invoked the federal Species at Risk Act as a powerful regulatory tool, a law that provides avenues for the federal government to pull rank to protect critical habitats for at-risk wildlife on what is otherwise provincial land.

When the Ford government announced it was opening up parts of the Greenbelt for housing construction, it gave developers a deadline of 2025 to get shovels in the ground, with approvals in progress by the end of 2023. Its goal is to build 1.5 million homes over the next decade, and it promised to swap the lands for new, bigger protected areas — ones environmental groups have said are far less ecological valuable.

The full scope of the study will be announced by Guilbeault at a news conference at the Park at 1 pm. Broadly, it will look at how to protect biodiversity, natural resources and ecological connectivity through the park, and will consult with the public, Indigenous groups and others.

In January, Guilbeault hinted at the federal intervention on the Greenbelt, but offered few details of how it would occur. Liberal MPs have also spoken out about the province’s decision to open up environmentally sensitive lands, saying the federal government should step in if any of the proposed developments touch federal jurisdiction.

Ford has always maintained the proposed Greenbelt developments are in the province’s sole jurisdiction.

At COP15, the major international United Nations nature conference held in Montreal last December, Guilbeault was repeatedly asked what he would do about provinces that lag behind the country as a whole in meeting the federal protected areas targets, and in particular about Ontario. Guilbeault was a key player at the conference in creating a global pact to protect 30 per cent of every country’s land and water by 2030.

“We are having very serious conversations with the government of Ontario and other governments in the country,” Guilbeault said at the time. “If we need to use our regulatory tools because provinces don’t do what they’re supposed to do when it comes to protecting nature or protecting species, we will.”
 
The political developments occurring over the long weekend appear to put some pieces of the greenbelt puzzle in flux. It will be interesting to read how much of the governments reaction is an attempt to assuage a certain segment of Ontarians protesting segments of the vaunted housing plan, without actually changing much. My viewpoint may seem cynical but the reads I get from local Conservatives politicians are not overly encouraging. However, if we accept that the Premiers office makes all of the decisions, and currently that must be the state of affairs, then continuing public pressure to effect changes within the greenbelt and within existing developed areas (or areas previously slated for development) will be key. Here is hoping.
 
It will be interesting to read how much of the governments reaction is an attempt to assuage a certain segment of Ontarians protesting segments of the vaunted housing plan, without actually changing much
No housing will be built faster with interest rates rising. In fact, many projects are holding because of it. That's why you are seeing this new PR campaign against the Bank of Canada.
 
The entire Greenbelt is now under review. It is worth noting that Greenbelt lands are reviewed every 10 years, with the last occurring in 2015, so they have pushed it up by 2 years. However, given recent events, this review seems unnecessary and highly suspicious.
 
The entire Greenbelt is now under review. It is worth noting that Greenbelt lands are reviewed every 10 years, with the last occurring in 2015, so they have pushed it up by 2 years. However, given recent events, this review seems unnecessary and highly suspicious.
Though I tend to agree with you, the events of the last few months have made everyone FAR more aware of the Greenbelt and how Mr Ford wants (wanted?) to reduce it. I think a Review now may actually ensure that the process and the results are VERY well covered by the press and may actually be good - if you want it preserved and expanded. I suspect that people like Mr Mutton are not celebrating as they now realise "we are watching'.
 
Though I tend to agree with you, the events of the last few months have made everyone FAR ore aware of the Greenbelt and how Mr Ford wants (wanted?) to reduce it. I think a Review now may actually ensure that the process and the results are VERY well covered by the press and may actually be good - if you want it preserved and expanded.
This is true - what I find difficult to determine at this time, however, is if this is the PCs doubling down or if this is some kind of damage control method.

In the article, it says that the prior Greenbelt review took around 2 years, which puts us in 2025/2026. The next election is in 2026 so it is certainly plausible that this is some kind of tactic to make up for the scandal by expanding the Greenbelt (again) to throw in our faces come election time. Otherwise, the review would finish well after the election in 2026/2027 if it occurred on schedule.
 
This is true - what I find difficult to determine at this time, however, is if this is the PCs doubling down or if this is some kind of damage control method.

In the article, it says that the prior Greenbelt review took around 2 years, which puts us in 2025/2026. The next election is in 2026 so it is certainly plausible that this is some kind of tactic to make up for the scandal by expanding the Greenbelt (again) to throw in our faces come election time. Otherwise, the review would finish well after the election in 2026/2027 if it occurred on schedule.
How convenient that after all the negative attention over this Greenbelt deal, they suddenly announce an overall Greenbelt review, 2 years ahead of schedule.

What a coincidence.

This is clearly damage control. If they were going to do this early, they would have done it instead of the backroom dealing they did. But also it will probably be designed to support their end goal - releasing greenbelt land for development.

There is so much money tied to this land, and you know these developers have the ear of his office and party leadership. They have never had so much influence, and they will try to capitalize on it. These types of people are not ones to stand down from opportunities like that.
 
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This government needs to be investigated for their links to developers, because it's clear there's deep connections they arent trying to hide and there are major players benefiting.

Every single Ontarian (with yes the exception of private owners and developers) is getting screwed in one way or another, whether they know it or not by this idiotic unnecessary policy.

Love the unearthing of this, nice work by the CBC. Now if only we could find which Members of Parliament (including the Premier himself) and their families are directly benefiting from this in some way, shape and form.

The lengths to which this government has gone to bend over backwards to developers means IMO there's something in it for them as well. This has gone way beyond just pandering for votes and election contribution money.
I'll bring forward a couple of my quotes earlier when the corruption was under wraps and this whole thing was flying relatively low under the radar.

With each week that passes we're discovering more and more about this whole corrupt scheme. We now know who many of the big players are who are benefiting and as I alluded to earlier, the connections are starting to be linked together. As I mentioned before, i'm extremely confident there are some Members of Parliament along with their families/friends who are directly benefiting from this and it has gone beyond vote buying and election contribution dollars. The ex-Clarington mayor being involved is just a drip in the bucket here.

Before I was skeptical that the police would get involved since this was under the OPPs jurisdiction (and Doug Ford obviously would've meddled in that), but now that they rightly handed this to the RCMP i'm getting the sense that it's only a matter of time before they start looking into this. Especially once the next integrity commissioner reports are completed.
 

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