The Toronto Star
NEWS, Wednesday, May 10, 2000, p. B03
slam moraine plan
Environmentalists urge province to halt development
QUEEN'S PARK BUREAU CHIEF
Plans by the
province of Ontario to protect a narrow swath of the Oak Ridges
Moraine do not go far enough to prevent long-term damage to the
ecologically sensitive area, a coalition of environmentalists
of Ontario Naturalists, Earthroots and a local group called Save
the Oak Ridges Moraine (STORM) said yesterday that all new development
must be halted on the whole moraine and a 2-kilometre buffer zone
around the moraine should also be development-free.
is still the need for a comprehensive provincial policy for the
entire 160-kilometre-long moraine," said Debbe Crandal of
the province's position on moraine development in Richmond Hill,
which was filed with the Ontario Municipal Board, covers only
1 per cent of the affected area.
stated in a seven-page report that it would be "inappropriate"
to urbanize the Richmond Hill portion of the moraine, then it
handed the OMB a map showing the areas where the provincial government
does not want development.
That map depicts
a huge swath of land in Richmond Hill where development is crossed
out - land that would be worth as much as $10 billion if construction
went ahead on the proposed 17,000 homes.
Lea Ann Mallett
of Earthroots said her group's call for a development freeze on
the moraine is supported by the vast majority of the 400,000 people
who live on it.
Ontario government truly is planning to act in the public interest,
they will stop this piecemeal approach," she said.
Affairs Minister Tony Clement said the use of the moraine will
likely be decided by the OMB as projects for the land are proposed
and go through local planning processes.
entirely up to the board; the issue is in front of the board,"
Clement said, adding that the province will follow its 1991 guidelines
on land use for the moraine.
Marilyn Churley (Broadview-Greenwood) said Clement should take
a leadership role in protecting the moraine, rather than reacting
to each development plan that crops up.
arcing north of Toronto, contains the headwaters of 35 rivers
and streams, including the Humber, Don and Rouge Rivers.