Hands off the green belt: Ford’s solution to housing crisis draws huge crowd to Kerr Street | Rare Techy


About 150 people marched outside MPP Stephen Crawford’s Rebecca Street office on Nov. 25 to protest the provincial government’s recent housing initiatives.

In recent weeks, the Doug Ford government has opened up protected Greenbelt land to development, ordered Halton Region to expand its city limits and introduced Bill 23. The law will reduce the powers of local governments and require conservancies to regulate development, while reducing fees paid by developers. to build infrastructure.

The Greenbelt is the world’s largest protected area of ​​farmland, wetlands, forests, rivers and lakes in Southern Ontario. It covers about two million acres.

Recently, Municipal and Housing Minister Steve Clark launched a 30-day consultation on proposed changes to the Greenbelt. But despite protests, only 7,400 acres of land will be removed from the Green Belt to build homes.

The government says the changes are necessary to boost construction and meet its goal of building 1.5 million more homes in Ontario over the next decade.

On Friday, Oakville critics voiced their frustration with the plan and — as one protester put it — “educated others in the community.”

With talk of global recession and uncertainty ahead, protester K. Kelly believes our farmland and natural resources are among Canada’s greatest assets, and opening up parts of them for housing is out of the question. “We are a major food exporter and protecting these lands is vital to our own survival,” he claims.

Kelly, one of the few young protesters, was not surprised by the lack of youth. He thinks it’s apathy and the fact that it’s an ordinary morning. “Young people think that even if they show up to protest, nothing will change. But if many think so, it is true.”

Sharing posts on social media isn’t enough for Kelly. He had to appear in person because “we have to stand for something.

He tries to tag more of his friends to protest with him.

“We have to show the younger generation that we have to stand for something.” – K. Kelly, protester

MPP Stephen Crawford did not address the protesters directly, but wrote that he supports the public’s right to protest. He also wants to clear the air, as he believes Bill 23 is being misinterpreted by many.

“The province will only reduce development fees for not-for-profit organizations and cooperative housing […] which encourages increased housing supply for those who need it most.

Crawford also took the opportunity to point out that while the plan would remove 7,400 acres, “9,400 acres will be added to the Greenbelt in other locations.”

“If Ford had done any research,” he says, “he would know that you have to build affordable housing where services already exist.” Greenbelt homes, he argues, “would actually divert resources away from building affordable housing because that’s what people do. They have to build services for all of those who are far outside the city limits.

Protester Bill Hunter shared this sentiment.

In addition to Ford’s broken promise to never touch the Greenbelt, Hunter claims that “it would be impossible for Greenbelt housing to be affordable” and that “developments would actually be expensive.”

He also feels Ford’s hands aren’t as tightly tied as it seems because “there’s a lot of land set aside for development. We can go up; we can go sideways.”

“We can do a lot of things without touching the green belt.” – Bill Hunter, protester


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