Ontario government ready to expand Greenbelt
TORONTO, Aug. 13 /CNW/ – Ontarians’ ideas have shaped new rules for the expansion of the Greenbelt’s boundaries.
These new criteria, released Wednesday, 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.
– 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.