Protecting greenspace in the Golden Horseshoe

Archived Release

Protecting greenspace in the Golden Horseshoe

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Improving Ontarians' quality of life by building safe, clean, livable communities QUEEN'S PARK, Feb. 16 - The McGuinty government is taking another important step toward permanently protecting greenspace across the Golden Horseshoe, Minister of Municipal Affairs John Gerretsen and Minister of the Environment Leona Dombrowsky announced today. Rob MacIsaac, mayor of the City of Burlington, will chair the new Greenbelt Task Force, which will work with the people of Ontario to determine how to most effectively establish a permanently protected greenbelt stretching from Niagara Falls to Rice Lake. "Building strong, safe, livable communities is of one the priorities we ran on, and that Ontarians voted for. That is why we're working to protect greenspace from urban sprawl." said Gerretsen. Mayor MacIsaac will head the task force of respected representatives from a broad cross-section of the community whose task will be to oversee stakeholder and public consultations on the scope, content and implementation of the proposed Greenbelt. Task force members were chosen for their expertise and concern for the protection of greenspace in the Golden Horseshoe, as well as their understanding of the permanent and far-reaching nature of the subject. "The lands on the outer edge of the Golden Horseshoe's developed areas were the most threatened in Ontario until we introduced a moratorium on zoning changes, pending the creation of the permanent greenbelt," said Dombrowsky. "By strengthening the communities in which we live, we can provide Ontarians with a quality of life that's second to none." The broad-based expert and community task force will study permanent greenbelt boundaries this Spring and make recommendations for action. Its appointment follows up on last December's introduction of the Greenbelt Protection Act, 2003. Task force members include Michael Bunce, Jim Faught, Mary Lou Garr, Natalie Helferty, Carol Hochu, Fraser Nelson, Rod Northey, Mark Parsons, Russ Powell, Deborah Schulte, Alan C. Veale and Donald J. P. Ziraldo. Backgrounder ------------------------------------------------------------------------- PROTECTING GREENSPACE IN THE GOLDEN HORSESHOE The McGuinty government announced today the appointment of Rob MacIsaac, mayor of the City of Burlington, as chair and spokesperson of the team that will lead consultations on the creation of a greenbelt in the Golden Horseshoe. The appointment of the Greenbelt Task Force follows the introduction of the proposed Greenbelt Protection Act, 2003 that would, if passed, create a greenbelt study area within the Golden Horseshoe; impose a one-year moratorium on new urban development on rural and agricultural lands within this area; and clarify the transition provisions on development applications relating to the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act. The team members represent a broad cross-section of municipalities, the development industry, and recreational, environmental and agricultural interests in the Golden Horseshoe. The Greenbelt Task Force will: - Shape and lead the consultation with the public and stakeholders; - Provide recommendations to the government on the scope, content and implementation of a proposed future greenbelt within a specified time frame; and - Develop a clear and transparent process for dealing with requests related to lands affected by the Minister's Zoning Order imposed on December 16, 2003, and lands that would be affected by the moratorium that would take effect under the proposed Greenbelt Protection Act, 2003, if passed. The Timeframe The task force's activities will include public meetings with residents of the Golden Horseshoe, workshops with groups representing municipal, development industry, recreational, environmental and agricultural sectors in the Golden Horseshoe, posting on the Environmental Bill of Rights Internet site and e-consultation on the Ministry of Municipal Affairs Web site. All comments are welcome, and will be considered. This is expected to run for 60 days between April and June 2004. Details on the times and locations of the meetings will be made public at a later date. The task force will meet with stakeholders again, likely in the fall, to consider the proposed approach to greenbelt protection that will result from the initial greenbelt consultations. Greenbelt Development Moratorium If passed, the Greenbelt Protection Act, 2003 now before the Legislature, would impose a moratorium on applications that permit urban uses on rural and agricultural lands outside current urban boundaries within the study area. It would also give the Minister of Municipal Affairs the ability to stay development proceedings on sensitive lands within the study area. The government has imposed a Minister's Zoning Order on portions of the greenbelt study area to provide immediate protection while the legislation is under consideration by the House. The moratorium under the proposed Greenbelt Protection Act, 2003 would last until December 2004. It is expected that a final greenbelt protection policy will be in place by December 2004. Greenbelt Study Area The proposed greenbelt legislation provides for the creation of a study area that would include Toronto, Hamilton, Durham, York, Peel, Halton, the Oak Ridges Moraine Plan area, the Niagara tender fruit and grape lands, and the Niagara Escarpment Plan area. The consultations will help determine which lands should be included in the greenbelt. Contacts: Patti Munce Audrey Bennett Minister's Office Ministry of Municipal Affairs (416) 585-6333 (416) 585-6014 Fact Sheet ------------------------------------------------------------------------- GREENBELT TASK FORCE MEMBERS Rob MacIsaac, Chair Mayor MacIsaac has been a member of Burlington City Council since November 1991 and was first elected as Mayor of the City of Burlington in November 1997. As a member of the Ontario Central Zone Smart Growth Panel, he led the sub-panel tasked with developing a vision and recommendations for a Smart Growth strategy for the zone. He serves on the boards of the Burlington Economic Development Corporation, Burlington Hydro Inc., the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance, Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital and the Halton-Peel District Health Council. He is the Honorary Chair of the Carpenter Hospice Board and the Capital Campaign Cabinet - Central Library Renewal Project. He is also a representative on the Association of Municipalities of Ontario's Large Urban Caucus and is a member of the Canadian Urban Institute. MacIsaac attended the University of Waterloo, where he completed his undergraduate degree in Economics in 1984. In 1987, he completed his LLB at the University of Western Ontario, and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1989. He is a lifetime resident of Burlington. Task Force Members: Michael Bunce Michael Bunce is an Associate Professor of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto, Scarborough, in the Division of Social Sciences. He specializes in rural and agricultural land use, rural conservation and rural planning, and is the Supervisor of Studies of the Society and Environment Programme. He is the author of articles on the urban fringe and countryside conservation, as well as two books, Rural Settlement in an Urban World (1982) and The Countryside Ideal (1994). Bunce is a member of the Journal of Rural Studies and of the Rouge Park Natural and Cultural Heritage Sub-Committee. He has a PhD from the University of Sheffield. Jim Faught Jim Faught has been the Executive Director of Ontario Nature and the Federation of Ontario Naturalists - organizations that strive to protect natural habitats through research, education and conservation action - since July 2001. Educated as a professional forester, he has held a variety of senior positions during his 25 years with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources in the fire management and natural resource management programs. As the Provincial Stewardship Co-ordinator, he led the community-based Ontario Stewardship program and its 40 stewardship councils across southern and central Ontario. Faught was a member of the Central Ontario Smart Growth Panel, a director on the Ontario Rural Council, a board member of Market Grey-Bruce, and a School Board Director of the Edge Hill Waldorf School. Mary Lou Garr Mary Lou Garr is the immediate Past Chair of AgCare, a coalition of 16 farm organizations that represent 45,000 farmers on crop biotechnology, crop protection and related environmental issues. Currently a director of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), she sits on the OFA's environment committee. She is also the Vice Chair of the Biotechnical Coalition of Ontario, and the Chair of the Ontario Farm Environmental Coalition Climate Change Working Group. She is a member of the Ontario Agricultural College, University of Guelph, Advisory Council. She received her early training as a teacher, and worked in communications for the Ontario Waste Management Corporation in Smithville. Garr and her husband farmed for 30 years in the Niagara Escarpment area near Beamsville, Ontario. Natalie Helferty Natalie Helferty is an ecological consultant who has worked for the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust, Environmental Defence Canada, the Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment, Protect our Water and Environmental Resources, as well as various other public interest groups. She is the Ontario Regional Director of the Canadian Society of Environmental Biologists, President of the Richmond Hill Naturalists and President of Public Spaces Appreciation Association. She holds an Honours BA from Queen's University and has completed a Master of Science program in Zoology at the University of Toronto. In 2002, Helferty received the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal for outstanding community contribution. Carol Hochu Carol Hochu is the President of the Aggregate Producers' Association of Ontario (APAO), a not-for-profit association representing the province's sand, gravel and crushed stone producers and their suppliers. She is a designated Certified Association Executive by the Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE). Active in her professional association, Hochu served on the Board of Directors of CSAE Trillium Chapter from 1996 to 2003. She obtained her Bachelor of Applied Science degree from the University of Guelph, and her Masters of Business Administration degree from York University. Hochu is a volunteer in the MBA mentorship program at the Schulich School of Business at York University. Fraser Nelson Fraser Nelson is the General Manager of Metrus Development Inc., a company that develops residential, industrial and commercial lands, predominantly in the Greater Toronto Area and Golden Horseshoe of Ontario. Nelson is a member of the Professional Engineers of Ontario and the Urban Development Institute (UDI). He also serves as the Vice-Chair of Government Policy on the UDI's Executive Committee, and Chair of their York Chapter. Rod Northey Rod Northey is a partner in Birchall Northey, an environmental law firm that provides litigation, legal and public policy advice to clients across Canada. Northey practices environmental law and has extensive experience specifically in environmental assessment law. He is the author of The 1995 Annotated Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and EARP Guidelines Order (1994) and articles on constitutional environmental law and law reform. Representative clients include public interest groups, Ontario municipalities and the Government of Canada on international environmental assessment matters. Northey is past president of the Canadian Environmental Defence Fund (now, Environmental Defence Canada). He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1990. Mark Parsons Mark Parsons was elected president of the Greater Toronto Home Builders' Association (GTHBA) in 2003. He also represents the GTHBA on the Ontario Home Builders' Association's Board of Directors. He has been with Monarch Homes for over 17 years, and currently holds the position of vice-president of low-rise construction. Parsons is a past director of the Burlington Cultural Centre and currently serves on the board of Appleby College. He was educated at Upper Canada College and the University of Western Ontario. Russ Powell Russ Powell is the Chief Administrative Officer of the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation. Powell has an extensive background in conservation and has held several positions in the public sector. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from the University of Toronto and a Diploma in Public Administration from the University of Western Ontario. Deborah Schulte As a member of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority - Humber Watershed Alliance, Deborah Schulte works to promote balanced growth with a strong sensitivity to environmental concerns. She is a past member of the Claireville Conservation Stewardship Committee and played a significant role in halting the Williams Parkway extension through the conservation area. She is also past president of the Humber Ratepayers Association and has chaired both the Lorna Jackson Public School Council and the Woodbridge Expansion Open Space Action Site Committee. Schulte is a professional engineer, past president of the Mississauga Track and Field Club and resides in the City of Vaughan. Alan C. Veale Alan Veale was the Director (Commissioner) of Planning and Development for the Regional Municipality of Niagara from 1974 until 1998. He is an active member of the Torch Club of St. Catharines and the North Niagara Probus Club. Veale holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Mechanical Engineering) from the University of British Columbia and a Master of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Donald J. P. Ziraldo Co-Founder and President of Inniskillin, one of the country's world-class wineries, Donald Ziraldo has contributed to the growth and stature of the Canadian wine industry. He was a founding chair of the Vintners Quality Alliance, a group that develops regulations and improves quality standards for premium Ontario wines. Ziraldo's vision of a thriving cool-climate wine industry has resulted in increased market share, the development of winery tourism and numerous international awards for domestic products. He is currently the campaign chair for the Niagara College $10 Million Hospitality Centre capital campaign. Ziraldo is a member of the Order of Canada. Contact: Patti Munce Minister's Office (416) 585-6333 Disponible en fran├žais. www.mah.gov.on.caFor further information: Patti Munce, Minister's Office, (416) 585-6333; Audrey Bennett, Ministry of Municipal Affairs, (416) 585-6014