Feb 17, 2021
By Jane Brown
The governing Progressive Conservatives at Queen’s Park are reportedly moving to expand the 800,000 hectare Greenbelt of protected lands around the Greater Golden Horseshoe, while proceeding with a controversial highway project.
A Toronto Star story says Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark will launch a 60 day public consultation Wednesday to determine ways to safeguard more farmland, wetlands, forests and watersheds from developments.
At the same time, Clark told the newspaper, “infrastructure can be built because of the Greenbelt Act. Highways can be built, sewage pipes can be built, infrastructure is allowed in the Greenbelt, so we’re not proposing to make any changes to that section.” These comments suggest the contentious $6-billion dollar GTA West highway proposal through Vaughan, Caledon, Orangeville and Milton would not be affected by an expanded Greenbelt.
In recent months, resignations from the Greenbelt Council, including that of former Toronto mayor David Crombie, have fueled criticism of the Tories and fears of more urban spread.