Sprawl

Glad they Finally Noticed

By Ryan McGreal
Published March 29, 2005

John Barber at the Globe and Mail is relieved to note that Toronto developer Silvio De Gasperis has finally taken notice of the Ontario Government's Greenbelt Plan.

Until Mr. De Gasperis inaugurated his legal and political fight, it seemed as if none but a few disappointed farmers and opportunistic politicians had anything bad to say about the groundbreaking new law. The lack of any strong opposition suggested that the sprawl-busting greenbelt was far weaker than it seemed and, as some environmentalists have alleged, far too accommodating of vested interests.

But now the greenbelt has inspired one of the richest and most powerful landowners in Ontario to declare war on the government - and to embarrass it badly with his opening salvo - so we know it has bite. That is excellent.

In other words, if the people who stand to lose from sustainable development oppose this legislation, then it may actually have a chance of working.

(Thanks to Jason Leach for bringing this article to my attention.)

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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