The Ford government’s introduction of Bill 66, which will allow development in the Greenbelt, is more than just another broken campaign promise; it could have significant environmental consequences here in southern Ontario.
You may remember that, during the election campaign, Ford was caught on video promising a room full of wealthy developers that he would open up a large chunk of the Greenbelt for them to build on, and it was only after a huge outcry from the public that Ford recanted and promised that he would protect the entire Greenbelt.
However, Bill 66 opens the door for municipalities to be granted permission to clear-cut forests and pave paradise in those protected lands.
This is more than just a reversal in policy; it’s a dangerous retreat to a time of environmental ignorance that could have significant consequences.
Wildlife populations will be threatened and experts tell us that fresh water sources could be negatively impacted and of course, there’s the risk of losing valuable agricultural land.
What does Ford envision? A sprawling housing subdivision in the middle of the Holland Marsh?
The sad reality is that there is still plenty of available land outside the Greenbelt for residential and commercial development, so incursions into the Greenbelt really aren’t necessary.
It’s bad enough that Ford has reneged on yet another campaign promise, but his apparent disregard for southern Ontario’s fragile environment is even more disturbing.
Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML.
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