Monday, February 4, 2013


First things first. Every single new residential development destroys either farmland or natural habitat for other species. Or trees and or ground and surface water quality due to residential runoff which includes salt, gas, oil, pesticides, fertilizers and on and on. Secondly NO ONE is into growth out of the goodness of their hearts. This especially includes governments who are merely puppets for monied interests who make even more money out of constantly expanding markets for goods and services. Do not believe that humanitarianism has anything to do with immigration. As far as natural birth rates go, my understanding is that they barely keep the population steady. Growth requires immigration and it's been ongoing and rising at least since the second world war. And it is damaging our environment, our ability to produce food, our health and the public's wallets. But certain small groups make lots of money from it and they have the ears and pockets of government.

With this background in mind the Region of Waterloo (and the province) through the Places to Grow Act of 2006 have decided to focus on infilling of cities to attempt to reduce urban sprawl. In other words more brownfields and fewer greenfields. While this doesn't do anything about ever expanding requirements for sewage and fresh water, it does reduce destruction of farmland , trees and habitat for other species. Recently the arbitrary and undemocratic Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) have thrown a curve ball at both the Region and the Places to Grow Act. The Region wanted to keep the opening up of new land for housing on the west side of Waterloo to 197 acres. Numerous developerstook the Region to the OMB and they sided with the developers and agreed to opening up 2,593 acres. The Region have responded by going to Divisional Court to overturn that ruling and at the same time by asking the OMB for a rehearing. Both these steps are highly unusual but the stakes are high. While I have often criticized the Region of Waterloo in regards to their coddling of industrial polluters and their propaganda about the quality of their tap water; nevertheless it needs to be said that they are apparently in the forefront of planning issues and serious attempts to limit urban sprawl. Hence environmental groups are backing the region's position and it would appear that the province through their 2006 legislation are as well. Perhaps the OMB simply misinterpreted their marching orders. These things do happen.

Saturday's Waterloo Region Record has this story titled "Region's legal battle over sprawl closely watched". Also Steve Kannon of the Woolwich Observer, on Saturday has this Editorial "Curtailing urban sprawl is a good idea on its own, no LRT needed".

No comments:

Post a Comment