Dear Graydon Smith,
Contrary to your own government’s advisors, and against the researched condemnation of scientists everywhere, you are totally ignoring the fact that developing the Greenbelt is completely unnecessary for, and counterproductive to providing more affordable housing in the GTA.
Infilling affordable housing on the GTA’s existing available lands – the studies have proven – will be more than adequate. Such housing development is already serviced with all necessary infrastructure and public transportation, and meets progressive 21st-century walkable communities and density criteria for lower income folks.
The unspoiled Greenbelt, in its current state and boundaries, is essential for the future lives of our children and grandchildren, as are conservation authorities which are lacking in most municipalities throughout the province.
Now patently obvious to Ontarians is that high-end developers have leveraged your government. They stand to make millions in building expensive houses on prime expensive land, which is to become additional urban sprawl, but which has been designated for decades by conscientious politicians and professional people as vital to farming, water conservation, biodiversity and healthy air.
It is egregiously shameful that a newly minted “minister of natural resources and forests” should be drawn so quickly into the dark power shadow of the antidemocratic and big-business pandering Ford government, with its short-sighted and environmentally unsound practices. These include your government’s plans for new gasfired generators and reburbished nuclear plants, when grants encourage heat pumps, and as cheap hydro power is readily available at our provincial doorstep in northern Quebec.
Minister Smith, your letter to your constituents and message to the province regarding housing does nothing to address the key need of our time and beyond: environmental and climate consciousness in decision-making.
The Parry Sound-Muskoka thinking electorate will not forget your disrespect of the 40% who did not vote for you, but who still relied on you to represent their commitment to socio-environmentally sound policies. Unfortunately, you are failing to represent them.
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