Municipal Greenbelt leaders urge Ontario to add one million acres, create Foodbelt

Oakville's Councillor Allan Elgar was one of the original founders of the MLGB.

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Municipal Greenbelt leaders urge Ontario to add one million acres, create Foodbelt
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Gisele Shaw

Gisele Shaw

Gisele Shaw is the Manager of Corporate Communication for the town of Oakville since 2002. Prior to working for the town she worked for Halton Region as a communications specialist. She is a graduate of Humber College.

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Municipal Leaders for the Greenbelt (MLGB) – mayors and councillors from across the GTA – urged the Ontario government to take bold action in protecting Ontario’s green spaces, watersheds, farmland and natural heritage systems.

Oakville Mayor Rob Burton and his MLGB Co-Chairs were at Queen’s Park to urge Ontario to: Expand the Greenbelt by an additional 1 million acres; create Ontario’s (and Canada’s) first Foodbelt, consisting of 200,000 acres for farming; and reduce red tape for municipalities wanting to grow the Greenbelt in their communities.

“It’s clear voters want to elect candidates who value the Greenbelt,” said Ajax Mayor Steve Parish.

“Oakville is the first municipality in Ontario to grow the Greenbelt. Councillor Allan Elgar, Oakville’s Ward 4 Town and Regional Councillor, was one of the original founders of the MLGB. We know firsthand the necessity of a streamlined approach so municipal governments can act on behalf of their constituents by protecting and expanding the Greenbelt in our communities,” Mayor Burton said.

The Municipal Leaders for the Greenbelt also launched their 2014 Municipal Election Greenbelt Pledge, and challenged all candidates in the 2014 municipal election to sign on. A recent study found more than 90 per cent of Ontarians support protecting the Greenbelt’s 1.8 million acres.

“In Ajax and across Ontario, it’s clear voters want to elect candidates who value the Greenbelt. Access to nature, local food, and clean water is important to Ontarians. The election pledge will help voters easily identify Greenbelt-friendly candidates.” MLGB Co-Chair and Ajax Mayor Steve Parish said.

Ontario’s Greenbelt protects green space, farmland, forests, wetlands, and watersheds, and provides habitat for more than one-third of Ontario’s species at risk. Each year, the Greenbelt contributes $2.7 billion in ecosystem services to Ontario’s economy.

Mayor Rob Burton signing the 2014 Municipal Greenbelt Pledge

Mayor Rob Burton signing the 2014 Municipal Election Greenbelt Pledge.

About Municipal Leaders for the Greenbelt

Municipal Leaders for the Greenbelt (MLGB) is a network of 70 elected Mayors and Councillors from across the province who support the Greenbelt as a permanent feature of Ontario’s landscape. They are committed to protecting the Greenbelt, encouraging the protection and connection of natural heritage systems in Greenbelt adjacent communities, ensuring thriving agriculture and planning decisions that adhere to the Greenbelt Plan.

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