Building industry urges government to balance Greenbelt expansion with growth needs

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Steve Clark
Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) are asking the Ontario government to stay focused on the proposed Greenbelt expansion announced today for consultation, while ensuring adequate lands for future growth.

Any future expansion of the greenbelt must be done in connection with the required community and infrastructure planning of the Growth Plan and the More Homes, More Choice Act.

“The availability of new, appropriately zoned and serviced land to support the residential and commercial needs of the GTA is virtually nonexistent,” said Dave Wilkes, BILD president & CEO. “Expanding the greenbelt, already the world’s largest, must be done in a systematic and logical manner, preserving the environment while at the same time considering all land needs and balancing the commercial and residential needs of the GTA, Canada’s economic engine.”

Premier Doug Ford has clearly stated his commitment to the ongoing protection of the Greenbelt, and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark has made it very clear that the existing borders are not up for change.

The industry is calling for a robust and comprehensive consultation on the proposed study area with all impacted and involved parties, including landowners, residents, businesses, industry and stakeholders. The impacts of the decisions made during this consultation are long-term and far-reaching and should be made in consideration of all the implications.

“The government has proposed a focused approach to Greenbelt expansion, and we expect that the necessary research and ground-truthing will happen before any mapping is confirmed for both the Urban River Valleys and the Paris-Galt Moraine,” said Joe Vaccaro, OHBA CEO.

“We also expect the government to remain focused on the areas they have identified and not have this turn into a political mapping exercise that ignores the ongoing community planning and the real infrastructure needed to support the three million more people joining this region in the next 20 years.”

With almost 1,500 member companies, BILD is the voice of the home building, land development and professional renovation industry in the Greater Toronto Area.

The building and renovation industry provides more than 269,000 jobs in the region and $30.3 billion in investment value. BILD is proudly affiliated with the Ontario and Canadian Home Builders’ Associations.

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