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Permanent Greenbelt A Legacy For Future Generations

Archived News Release

Permanent Greenbelt A Legacy For Future Generations

1.8 Million Acres To Protect The Environment And Check Urban Sprawl

Office of the Premier

KLEINBURG -- The government's greenbelt plan is now final and will permanently protect more than one million acres in the Golden Horseshoe from urban sprawl, says Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.

"Our greenbelt will improve the lives of millions of Ontarians and create a legacy for future generations," said Premier McGuinty. "We want our children to be able to enjoy greenspaces and be supported by healthy agricultural lands - all in the face of an expected population growth of nearly four million people in the GTA over the next 30 years."

The newly protected area will be added to the protected areas of the Oak Ridges Moraine and the Niagara Escarpment to form a 1.8-million-acre greenbelt area of environmentally sensitive and agricultural land.

The government was authorized to establish the greenbelt area and plan by the Greenbelt Act, 2005. The act became law on February 24, 2005. The greenbelt plan was developed after talking to the public, municipalities and key stakeholders throughout the Golden Horseshoe and has been endorsed by scientists and environmental professionals.

"I congratulate you for recognizing that urban sprawl represents a major negative impact on the environment, from continued degradation of wild areas to overdependence on cars, loss of farmland, and pollution of air, water and soil," said David Suzuki, addressing Premier McGuinty. "I hope the greenbelt is the first of more government initiatives to control sprawl, conserve nature, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect air, water and soil and get us out of our cars. Congratulations on this initiative."

"The greenbelt strikes a balance between protecting our greenspaces and meeting the needs of growing communities," said Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing John Gerretsen.

"Our government made a choice to preserve greenspace and plan intelligently for growth," said Premier McGuinty. "This will improve the quality of life for the people of Ontario and make this province the place to be for years to come."

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Environment and Energy