At Regional Council today I supported a referral to staff regarding a motion tabled about the Province’s proposed GTA West Corridor and here is why.
The motion was placed on the agenda without any report or input from Regional staff. It only makes sense that we would have staff look at this change in policy and direction through an environmental, planning and financial lens. Councils shouldn’t be making rushed and emotional decisions without having detailed information, this is fundamental with evidenced based decision making.
For example, I want to know what the impacts will be in not having some type of corridor in that area. What will that mean to our existing and future communities in 10, 20 and 30 years? What will it mean for our agricultural operators in the area?
The Province of Ontario in 2007 drew a line on a map and created the Greenbelt and consequentially the Whitebelt. The Greenbelt which represents a good portion of Caledon is protected from sprawl and urban development. The Whitebelt representing 20% of Caledon is where our growth will be.
My greatest fear is that with the significant growth coming to the Whitebelt (300,000 people by 2051) and without a provincial plan to move all of the goods and people that come with that growth, local Caledon roads will by default become a corridor.
This will essentially kill the surrounding communities of Mayfield, Valleywood, Terra Cotta and Belfountain by inundating them with heavy commuter and transport truck traffic. It could negatively affect property values and cost Caledon taxpayers millions and millions of dollars to maintain our local infrastructure.
So, before I make a decision I need to fully know and consider what this would mean for Caledon and its future.