I completely oppose this…

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I completely oppose this redesignation because it would not solve the affordable housing crisis – instead, it would just add urban sprawl, remove vital protection from an important water source, proceed without any legitimacy, enrich a few developers and worsen government opaqueness, leading to rising public distrust and suspicion. We must build affordable housing in existing settlements and near transit hubs, and protect the Paris Galt Moraine without sacrificing other valuable Greenbelt land, e.g. in the Oak Ridges Moraine.

The real housing crisis in Ontario is not the shortage of expensive single-family units in the far suburbs or rural areas. The real crisis is the lack of affordable housing near city centres and transit hubs. Yet this proposal does not require that the resulting housing be affordable. On the contrary – it would result in expensive and unaffordable urban sprawl.

Studies show that there is enough land in existing designated settlement areas in Ontario to accommodate current and future populations. We need to ensure that currently designated lands are developed, not sacrifice protected lands to line the pockets of speculators.
Moreover, one piece of natural land cannot be exchanged for another as if they were widgets. The Oak Ridges Moraine protects a vital water source for the GTA and provides irreplaceable habitat for wildlife. Protecting the Galt Moraine is valuable in itself, but it is wrong to lose protection for any other land in the process.

Finally, the proposal lacks any legitimacy. There is no democratic mandate for this scheme - there was no mention of such trade-offs in the government’s election platform. There is zero transparency on how any Oak Ridges lands were chosen for redesignation – or who, exactly, chose them.
There is no proof that these lands are “ready for housing development” (some of them are not even near roads). There is no information on who owns this land, how, exactly, they got their lands into this proposal – or how much they would profit from this process. All this creates an atmosphere of distrust and suspicion.

In summary, I strongly urge the government to withdraw this ineffectual, illegitimate and wrong-headed proposal, and ensure affordable housing development where it’s actually needed most: in existing settlement areas and near transit hubs. I also urge the government to expand the Greenbelt to protect the Paris Galt Moraine without removing land from any other part of the Greenbelt or any other protected area.