QUEEN’S PARK - NDP MPP Jennifer French (Oshawa) demanded the government keep its promise to preserve natural and protected spaces and the wildlife that lives there and preserve Class A farmland return land by returning the Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve (DRAP) and Greenbelt lands in Durham Region safely to the Greenbelt.
Ford’s Conservatives have asserted that for a property to be removed from the Greenbelt, it must meet specific criteria, including being on or near readily serviceable land. The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for Durham Region made it clear that the Duffins Rouge and Greenbelt lands in Durham do not meet those criteria. Despite this, the government is forging ahead with its plan to give wealthy developers access to build on these previously protected lands.
The government has promised that if their conditions for removal are not met, they would return those properties to the Greenbelt.
"Just a year ago, the province assured municipalities that they wouldn’t be removing or exchanging these lands, " said French. “This conservative government needs to be held to account, keep its word, and protect our natural spaces and farmland from irreparable damage. It’s clear that the DRAP lands and Durham Greenbelt lands do not meet the criteria for removal. Why did they carve them out in the first place, and will they safely return them to the Greenbelt as they’ve said they will?"
"The voices of this community should matter to this government. We expect this government to act in the best interest of Ontarians and put their needs ahead of select insiders, but their track record does not reflect this. We need to tackle this issue from every angle possible to stop this government from causing irreversible harm to our Greenbelt."