Friday, September 22, 2023

Ford cancels Greenbelt development: Democracy at work

Democracy isn't perfect.  No system of government is perfect.  However, when democracy works, it is a wonder to behold.  Ontario Premier Doug Ford has cancelled his disastrous plan for developing the Greenbelt.  I doubt that Ford cancelled his plan because he had a change of heart.  He would have followed through with his plan, except for one thing.  It probably would have cost him the next election.  Due to the Greenbelt fiasco, his Progressive Conservative Party has been losing support in the polls.  Ford listened to the will of the people.  That's why our right to vote in a free and fair election is so precious.

For readers who are unfamiliar with the Ontario Greenbelt, the Greenbelt Foundation webpage describes it as "two million acres (over 809,000 hectares) of protected land that provide clean air, fresh water, climate resilience, and a reliable local food source to help Ontario thrive."  The Greenbelt was created in 2005 through Ontario government legislation.  It was regarded as major step toward preventing over-development on the province's environmentally sensitive land.  It has great cycling routes and hiking trails.

At a press conference in Niagara Falls yesterday, Doug Ford announced that his government would reverse the controversial land swap decision it made earlier in 2023.  It was a "mistake" to open the Greenbelt, He said.  It was a "mistake" made in an attempt to combat the housing crisis that established a process that moved too fast.  Frankly, I don't buy his excuse.  The housing crisis was just an excuse to allow the developers to run rampant on our precious Greentbelt.  Doug Ford has been extremely friendly toward developers and there was a great deal of money to be made.

I will give the premier some credit for publicly admitting to a mistake.  Some politicians. especially a certain former American president, would never ever acknowledge a wrongdoing.  However, that's setting the bar far too low.  My hope is that the experience will make Ford realize how precious the environment is to Ontarians.

Doug Ford

If Premier Ford did not have to face the electorate, he would have done exactly what he wanted.  Power to the people!  

- Joanne

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