I am very pleased to say that at the Town of Caledon Council meeting yesterday, Council unanimously supported two motions on the proposed Provincial GTA West Corridor, highlights are below.
- Request the Ministry of Transportation host a public information centre on the GTA West for Caledon
- Request for a Federal Environmental Impact Assessment
- Support for a Voluntary Project Review from the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
While I am pleased with this direction and fully support them, I do need to address some false and misleading statements about and attributed to me on the GTA West Corridor, in a recent Toronto Star article. I should also note that I am writing a letter of complaint to the Chief Editor.
The article falsely indicated that myself and other Councillors urged the province to complete the GTA West and we did not. We asked the Province to complete the Environmental Assessment (EA).
Completing the Environmental Assessment was important because:
- The study had been underway for several years and was substantially complete
- Millions of tax dollars had been spent
- The findings and information from the EA are valuable for the Town of Caledon and the Region of Peel for infrastructure and other growth-related planning
Whether or not the Province moves ahead with some type of multi model transportation use in the current study area, known as The Whitebelt, the area is slated for significant growth. In 25 to 30 years it will be home to 300,000 people, not farmland as the reporter in article suggested. I should note here that 80% of Caledon will remain rural in character with small villages, hamlets, greenspaces and farmland, this area is also known as the Greenbelt.
The reporter also noted the private sale of my family farm from 6 years ago as well he referred to land owned by family members of two other Councillors. None of these lands are even in GTA West study area. That tells me very clearly that this will be used politically in an attempt to damage reputations. How does that serve our communities?
It’s so important that residents have access to accurate information so they can form their own opinions. And, it is fundamental to our local democracy that Caledon citizens have their say, their questions answered, and concerns addressed on a project of this scope. That’s why I suggested we ask for a provincial public meeting.
I respect that are varying perspectives and opinions on all issues. I will continue to work to represent all of Caledon and ensure that everyone can have their voice heard.