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Oshawa Council Unanimously Objects to Province Opening Up the Greenbelt

November 17, 2022 11:07 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

At Oshawa's November 15, 2022 special meeting of council, Rosemary McConkey brought forward a motion to object the province's proposed amendments to the Greenbelt Area Boundary Regulation.

During discussion, Councillor Nicholson brought forward an amendment to demand that the province extend the commenting period by 90 days to give council enough time to provide fulsome comment.  The amendment passed, and the amended motion was passed unanimously by council.

The original motion reads as follows:

Whereas, on October 25, 2022 the Province of Ontario introduced the More Homes Built Faster plan, to address the housing crisis by setting a goal to build 1.5 million homes in Ontario over the next 10 years; and,

Whereas, on November 4, 2022 the Province of Ontario took further action to accommodate growth and support the building of more homes, in a targeted manner, by launching a consultation on proposed changes to Ontario’s Greenbelt Plan (ERO 019-6216), the Greenbelt Area boundary regulation (O.Reg. 59/05) (ERO 019-6217) and the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan (O.Reg.140/02) (ERO 019-6218) in order to:

  • Remove/redesignate lands from the Greenbelt Area and the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan Area that could be suitable for residential development; and,

  • Add a portion of the Paris Galt Moraine to the Greenbelt Area, designated as Protected Countryside with a Natural Heritage System; and,

Whereas, the proposed changes to the Greenbelt Area boundary regulation, if adopted, will remove or redesignate a total of 15 areas along the edge of the Greenbelt Area throughout the Greater Golden Horseshoe, totaling approximately 7,400 acres, for the purpose of being developed for housing in the near term, in exchange for adding 9,400 acres to the Greenbelt Area comprised of Urban River Valley areas and part of the Paris Galt Moraine; and,

Whereas, none of the 15 areas are located in the City of Oshawa, but do include areas in other Durham lakeshore municipalities including the City of Pickering and the Municipality of Clarington; and,

Whereas, it is the government’s expectation that construction of new homes in these areas would begin no later than 2025 with proponents fully funding any necessary infrastructure upfront, and if adopted, the proposed changes would result in the construction of approximately 50,000 or more new homes in areas once protected by the Greenbelt Plan; and,

Whereas, the above noted proposed changes constitute a reversal on the part of the Province of its earlier promises to not develop any lands within the Greenbelt, which will result in irreparable damage to the environment and contribute to more urban sprawl in communities across the Greater Golden Horseshoe, and could lead to even more Greenbelt lands being opened up for development in the future with pressure from land speculators; and,

Whereas the proposal to augment the Greenbelt Area by adding, together with lands in the Paris Galt Moraine, thirteen (13) Urban River Valleys in exchange for the removal of lands currently in the Greenbelt Area to facilitate residential development is not an equivalent exchange, as urban waterways would not in any case be suitable for development; and,

Whereas, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is seeking feedback on the above-mentioned proposed amendments, with comments due no later than December 4, 2022;

Therefore be it resolved that the City of Oshawa does not support the Province of Ontario’s proposed amendments to the Greenbelt Plan, Greenbelt Area boundary regulation and the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, and a copy of said motion be sent to the Province of Ontario, the Region of Durham, Durham area municipalities, Durham area M.P.P.’s and the City’s Building Industry Liaison Team, which includes the Durham Chapter of the Building Industry and Land Development Association and the Durham Region Home Builders’ Association.

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