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January 27th, 2023

NDP calls on Trudeau, Guilbeault to stop Ford from bulldozing the Greenbelt

NDP launches petition calling on federal government to act

GTA — Only Prime Minister Trudeau and Environment Minister Stephen Guilbeault can stop Doug Ford from bulldozing the Greenbelt — and Canada’s NDP is calling on the federal Liberal government to do that urgently.

“Only Trudeau and Guilbeault have the power to stop Doug Ford from bulldozing the Greenbelt, and time is running out to act,” said NDP Ethics critic Matthew Green (Hamilton Centre).

“The Greenbelt grows our food, cleans our water and prevents GTA homes from flooding. For Trudeau and Guilbeault, it should be a simple choice now between protecting people’s food and our future, or letting the floodwaters rise up into our homes and our communities.”

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is planning to bulldoze 7,400 acres of the Greenbelt. His move is scandal plagued, since multiple media outlets have reported that large developers — friends and donors of Doug Ford — have purchased relatively low-value Greenbelt land since Ford was elected in 2018, with the most recent transaction in September. With Ford’s announcement that that land can be developed, those developers are poised to make hundreds of millions of dollars.

“Time is running out. Trudeau and Guilbeault can’t be toothless — making threats for headlines, then turning their backs on Ontarians,” said Green. “We’re calling on the federal government to use its power urgently to stop Doug Ford and save the Greenbelt.”

The NDP has launched an online petition in Ontario, urging the federal government to act.

The federal government has at least two tools at its disposal — the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and the Impact Assessment Act. This would not be without precedent. In November 2021, Guilbeault issued an emergency order to stop a residential development in Longueuil, Quebec due to threats to the habitat of the western chorus frog, using the SARA.