Could Oakville's Greenbelt Area Be in Trouble?
The Town of Oakville has recently expressed concerns about its Greenbelt and its protection.
And it’s not the only municipality with reservations.
These concerns are regarding Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018, which was tabled by the provincial government back in December of 2018.
Some people believe that, if passed, this could open up development on Greenbelt areas.
Now, in order to protect its Greenbelt, Oakville Town Council recently announced that it is opposing parts of the tabled bill that could hinder the Greenbelt and other environmental protections.
Town councillors voted unanimously in Halton’s Council Chamber on Jan. 14, 2019 to oppose provisions in Schedule 10 of the Bill 66.
These provisions include those that amend, repeal or override the Clean Water Act, 2006, and the Greenbelt Act, 2005.
Councillors are calling for the provisions to be removed from the Bill.
This motion was put forward by Oakville Mayor Rob Burton.
“The Greenbelt has protected 1.8 million acres of farmland, local food supplies, the headwaters of our rivers and important forest and wildlife habitat for over 12 years,” Mayor Burton said in the press release.
“A permanent Greenbelt is an important part of the planning for sustainable communities.”
In the press release, Mayor Burton noted that, “Schedule 10 of Bill 66 does not represent how the Town of Oakville and its residents want to do business.”
Council has assured that the town will not exercise the powers granted in Schedule 10, or any successor sections or schedules to pass such planning by-laws, where they do not comply with the town’s official plan.
Burlington has also promised residents that it will not take advantage of the bill and promote development on its Greenbelt.
Shortly after the bill was tabled, the City of Burlington commented on how it would address the bill if passed.
“We stand firm in our commitment to protecting our greenbelt from development and protecting our farm families and rural agricultural economy,” Burlington Mayor, Marianne Meed Ward, said in a previous press release.
“We will also ensure our residents benefit from the protections in all the other pieces of legislation referred to in Bill 66. We will not be comprising their safety or quality of life for speed. I do not see Burlington using this legislation, if it is passed. At the same time, we’ll do everything we can to ensure Burlington is open for business.”
What do you think of Bill 66 and Oakville’s Greenbelt?