Sprawl

Pickering Gives Greenbelt the Finger

By Ryan McGreal
Published May 30, 2005

Today's Toronto Star reports that Durham Regional Council has sided with the Town of Pickering in refusing to protect the 1,900 hectares of the Duffins-Rouge Agricultural Preserve in accordance with the Greenbelt agreement. Half of the area could end up as suburban housing.

In February, hours after the 720,000-hectare greenbelt became law, Pickering unilaterally removed the easements for $2.5 million in "legal costs" and future considerations of at least $60 million from developers.

Ajax mayor Steve Parish called on Durham council to ask the province to take Pickering to court, but his motion was defeated 18-6. Pickering mayor Dave Ryan claims he opened the door to developers to "control development growth in the future." Ri-i-ight. That's like letting foxes into the henhouse to "control" the foxes' consumption of chicken.

I mean, when you've got bloody Ajax lecturing you on suburban sprawl, you know you're in serious trouble.

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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