Greenbelt reversal by province results in ‘victory’ and cancellation of Oakville weekend protest


Published September 22, 2023 at 4:22 pm

Greenbelt Ontario Premier Doug Ford protest rally land affordable housing
A "Hands off the Greenbelt" rally planned for Saturday in Oakville has been cancelled after Ontario Premier Doug Ford reversed his government's decision to sell off Greenbelt land to developers. INHALTON PHOTO

A “Hands off the Greenbelt” rally scheduled for Saturday (Sept. 23) in Oakville has been cancelled.

The noon rally set for Glen Ashton Park, organized by Grand(M)others Ac to Save the Planet (GASP), was called off after Ontario Premier Doug Ford, in a surprise move on Thursday, called off plans to build affordable housing on the Greenbelt.

Ford, who called the decision to open the Greenbelt “a mistake,” announced the reversal of sale of Greenbelt land to developers after meeting with his caucus in Niagara Falls earlier on Thursday.

The issue intensified after a report by the auditor general revealed that the owners of the 15 land sites could see more than an $8.3 billion increase to the value of their properties, and there was enough land available elsewhere to build homes to deal with the affordable housing crisis.

“Cancelled due to victory. Yay,” cheered organizers.

Several rallies across the province will still go ahead, turned now into a gathering to celebrate the return of Greenbelt lands and voice their efforts to repeal Bill 23 and stop construction of Hwy. 413.

“We are happy that the Premier abandoned the Greenbelt giveaways thanks to the thundering voice of the public,” said Priya Unnikrishnan, Liveable Richmond Hill. “This is only the first step, there are many battles ahead such as Bill 23, Hwy 413 and ensuring environmental protections. We want to keep the momentum going.”

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