Making progress! Minister Calandra announces “Ontario is winding back the changes to municipal official plans.”
See the Minister’s full statement here: Press Release
Yes, we’ve made good progress, but it’s not over!
We still need to stop HWY413 and the Bradford Bypass, reclaim Ontario Place as a public park, reinstate environmental protections and ensure that no future government will be able to reduce the Greenbelt ever again.
Wednesday Oct 25th
Metrolinx refuses to engage in meaningful dialogue. The Turtle Island Carers of Fire have been tending the sacred fire since January 30, 2023.
The Final ceremony to honour the trees will be held on Wednesday, October 25th. Scroll down for more information.
To learn more about the issue, go to Stop the Trains in Our Parks.
Greenbelt Guardians are part of the Indigenous-led Coalition to Save Eglinton Flats
The coalition has formed to prevent Metrolinx from clear-cutting almost 1500 trees, endangered species habitat and a wildlife corridor to the Humber River, so they can errect the Eglinton Extension LRT above-ground through Eglinton Flats in Toronto, which is just outside of the Greenbelt Protected Urban River Valleys.
We continue our advocacy to save Eglington Flats and hold Metrolinx and the Ford Government to account
Our Indigenous-led coalition made the decision to close the ceremony and extinguish the sacred fire on Sunday, October 22nd. The Turtle Island Carers of Fire held ceremony and tended the fire for 230 days! We are forever grateful for their bravery, determination and leadership.
Metrolinx threatened our coalition members with legal action, which we believe could have included coming after us for hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs and pressing criminal charges. We had to make sure the Fire Keepers and all of our coalition members were safe.
Metrolinx has already started to put up fencing around Fergy Brown Park in preparation to start clear cutting 1,500 trees and destroying our parks.
How can you support:
Join us in honouring the 1,500 trees on Wednesday, October 25 in Pearen Park (30 Pearen St.):
2:30 pm – Lay tobacco for the trees
6:30 pm – Candlelight ceremony
Email our MPP Michael Ford at email@example.com and Premier Doug Ford at Premier@ontario.ca and demand they finally step up and take action to protect our parks. Michael Ford campaigned on this issue in the last provincial election saying he would be the best option to advocate for our community—he has since refused to meet with the community or even attend any community events
Why we are protecting the Greenbelt
Loss of Farmland
Ontario has lost some of the best agricultural land in the world in the past century, and we continue to lose over 319 acres a day – our farmland is being used to create shopping malls, highways, and suburbs. Now another 37,600+ acres of previously protected land is threatened by development (which could feed up to 80,000 people a year depending on dietary choices).
We need to drastically reduce our carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 and get to net-zero by 2050 to have any chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change. Suburban sprawl increases carbon emissions by increasing car usage, decreasing public transportation, and the amount of energy required for heating and cooling such large, detached homes (which are less energy efficient than densification).
Also, land is a carbon sink — helping to regulate the planet’s temperature and store carbon. In the past 10 years, “land-based ecosystems absorbed around 30 per cent of the carbon emissions generated by human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels.” — so we need to protect the land from development.
Flooding & Environmental Impacts
The protected Greenbelt lands and Conservation Authorities were established mainly to protect Ontarians from the risk of flooding. With the recent legislative changes, and opening up these areas to development, more flooding is guaranteed. The suburban sprawl from further development will also increase air pollution due to car usage and the use of natural gas to heat homes. Already air pollution contributes to the loss of 6,600 Ontarians every year.
Our part of the world, in the Great Lakes bioregion, will be a climate refuge — meaning that we will be shielded from the worst severe weather effects of climate change. As other parts of the world encounter climate change and lose their capacity to grow food easily — or at all — we need to be able to feed people. We need to preserve our farmland, and rather than supporting profit margins for developers, we need to support growing food for our fellow human beings.
Building and maintaining the infrastructure needed for sprawling development will come at huge costs. The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) estimates that it will cost cities over $5 billion over the next decade, paid for by the taxpayer.