QUEEN’S PARK—NDP MPPs Jessica Bell (University—Rosedale), the Official Opposition housing critic and Catherine Fife (Waterloo) released a joint statement in response to Ford’s unilateral order to local governments to expand the urban boundaries for Waterloo Region, Wellington County, Belleville and Peterborough:
“Once again, Ford’s Conservatives are forcing regional governments to expand their urban boundaries to allow developers to pave over protected areas and farmlands under the pretense of solving the housing crisis.
These changes fail to address this historic housing affordability and supply crisis that requires urgent and practical solutions. The province’s own Task Force has said that the crisis is not due to a land shortage, yet the government continues to push their failing housing strategy.
The Ontario NDP knows that is about housing affordability and housing supply. We have given this government solutions they can implement – a plan to build more homes by ending exclusionary zoning, investing in the construction of affordable homes, clamping down on speculation, and making rent more affordable. Instead, Ford’s Conservatives continue to make arbitrary decisions that threaten the environment, reduce farmlands, and reward their insider friends over everyday Ontarians.”
-- Jessica Bell, NDP Housing Critic
“Waterloo Region has been exemplary in sustainable land-use planning, building density, and meeting the housing needs of the area. They do not need Ford's Conservatives to come in with their failing housing strategy that only benefits well-connected land speculators with little regard for sustainability, accountability, or cost to the public. More sprawl is not the solution. It has not solved the crisis so far, and it will not help the residents of Waterloo. It’ll only make everything even more expensive.
Sweeping changes like these are often ill-informed and out-of-touch with local residents’ and communities’ needs. Municipalities like Waterloo require careful growth planning as they rely on groundwater. Poor planning can threaten water supplies in the area. However, the Ford government has disregarded the need to protect scarce groundwater in these communities. Instead, they are approving areas for development without assessing the threshold for servicing water and waste systems and the impact on residents, farmers, and businesses.”
-- Catherine Fife, MPP for Waterloo