By now, most in the Greater Toronto Area have heard about and are up in arms regarding the mismanagement and possibly illegal bungling of the Ontario Greenbelt by the provincial government led by Premier Doug Ford. It is not pretty by any stretch of the imagination.
So far, a chief of staff and a cabinet minister have resigned their posts. Investigations have shown the high level of mishandling on the file involving the removal of a handful of land plots from the Greenbelt to allow for housing development to meet the province’s goal of building 1.5 million homes over the next 10 years.
Now, instead of putting said lands back as a result of the troubling findings every acre of the province’s cherished protected lands on the Greenbelt are going to be reviewed, which seems to indicate that every acre could be up for development. More investigations and public outcry are underway.
Naturally, people are angry and want to voice their disapproval and some have already started, such as last week when someone plunked a “sold” sticked down on an Ontario Greenbelt sign (see photo below) and it showed up on the Reddit Toronto website. And there was also a stunning piece of anti-Ford street art that went up in Graffiti Alley.
If that’s not your cup of tea, here are a few other ways to voice your support for the Ontario Greenbelt and join the growing movement to send a message to the Ford government’s plan to develop this integral and amazing agricultural and green space.
Upcoming events, such as the Greenbelt Rally in Hamilton and Markdale on Sept. 14 and in Brampton on Sept. 15 are planned to demonstrate the ongoing commitment of Ontarians to safeguard their natural heritage. These gatherings provide platforms for concerned citizens to voice their opposition to environmental policies that jeopardize the province’s future.
The big protest upcoming is set for Sept. 15 at Queens’ Park. This rally is part of a globally coordinated action to demand that governments end fossil fuels – fast, fair, and forever.
For a full list of the many rallies taking place, go to Environmental Defence here.
If carry a sign and chanting “hey hey ho ho Doug Ford has got to go” is not your thing, perhaps signing a petition and sharing it on social media is an option. And, there are a few petitions available.
The Green Party of Ontario has a petition here. The petition calls for an end to the Ford government’s focus on dismantling the Greenbelt and urges them to prioritize affordable housing solutions.
Not surprisingly, the Ontario NDP also have a petition underway here. NDP leader Marit Stiles has been one of Ford’s staunchest critics.
The Greenbelt West Coalition are asking for a bigger and better Greenbelt here.
Write a letter
Petitions are fine, but what might be more effective is writing an old-fashioned letter to your local MPP and directly to Premier Doug Ford.
Here are the various ways to contact Ford via Queen’s Park.
And there is information on all the local MPPs and how to contact them right here.
For more information on just how badly the provincial government has mishandled the Ontario Greenbelt here are some resources.
This is a link to the Auditor General’s report.
Here is a link to the Integrity Commissioner’s report on MPP Steve Clark, former Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and current Member of Provincial Parliament for Leeds– Grenville–Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.
And here is a good backgrounder on what has happened so far.