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Hands off the Greenbelt: Op-ed

Greenbelt Guardians
Greenbelt Guardians

Around 60 people attended the "Hands Off The Greenbelt Pop UP Rally" in Oakville on April 23, organized by the Greenbelt Guardians and friends to keep up momentum on repealing Ontario's Bills 23, 39, and 97.

The Doug Ford Conservative Government started its attack on the Greenbelt in November 2021 with the passing of Bill 229, which aimed to increase development on protected farmland.

Later in 2022, Bill 23, which proposed changes to the Conservation Authorities Act, was passed after the government promised in the 2022 election to "Not Touch the Greenbelt."

Protesters marched through downtown Oakville to MPP Crawford's office, calling for the protection of the Greenbelt and advocating for the preservation of natural spaces, regional and municipal autonomy, and democratic processes.

Despite cold and cloudy weather, the rally progressed as planned, with marchers chanting slogans like "Hands off the Green Belt," "No more sprawl," "Houses for all," and "Stop Highway 413," asking MPP Crawford to take the message to Queens Park that "we want Bill 23, 39 and 97 repealed, and that we will not go away until you do so."

Many supporters shared concerns about the impact of urbanization on natural spaces and wildlife, emphasizing the importance of preserving these areas for the health and well-being of local communities and the environment.

Protesters also highlighted the significance of local and regional decision-making in shaping policies that impact their communities. The Greenbelt Guardians and their supporters hope their efforts will inspire more people to take action and protect the Greenbelt in Ontario.