Potential Greenbelt Expansion Consultation

Below is an announcement regarding a potential Greenbelt expansion.
We will keep you up to date with consultation open house dates, times etc. as information becomes available.


The Ministry of Municipal Affairs is undertaking a consultation on a study area for potential Greenbelt expansion to protect important water resources in the outer ring of the Greater Golden Horseshoe.  The study area is based on the locations with high concentrations of water resources that are under pressure from urban development.


The purpose of this consultation is to seek input on:

  • The province’s approach to identifying moraines, coldwater streams and wetlands as important features for protecting water in the outer ring

  • The process followed for mapping a study area based on the locations of these features 

  • Other factors to be considered when mapping a proposed Greenbelt boundary.

As part of the consultation, the province would also like to invite you to attend a public open house.  The province will be holding the public open houses in several locations across the study area to get input from the public, municipalities, conservation authorities, Indigenous communities and organizations, and stakeholders.


For more information about the consultation, please visit Ontario.ca/greenbelt where you will find: 

  • A consultation document which describes this proposal in more detail and includes discussion questions related to each of these topics

  • Maps of the study area

  • Information about the upcoming public open houses. 

We will accept input and feedback about the study area and the parameters for potential Greenbelt expansion until March 7, 2018.  Input received through this consultation will help inform decisions on how to move from a study area to a proposed Greenbelt boundary.  


If you have any questions about the consultation or the upcoming public open houses, please contact us by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or calling 1-877-711-8208.


We hope you will take the time to review the consultation document and share your opinions and insights with us.  



Bill Mauro



Food & Water First - Action for 2018

Volunteer Handbook

As the first snow arrives and we settle in for another winter, it's a good time to prepare for what will be a busy and significant 2018. Ontarians will vote in a provincial election next June and Food & Water First will be asking candidates for their positions on the protection of prime farmland and water resources. Our future depends on their answers and their actions.

Food & Water First's Executive Director, Donna Baylis, offers these thoughts as 2017 ends and a challenging election year is about to begin.

Food & Water First was born of the Stop the Mega Quarry movement. The opponent was a 2,400 acre proposed quarry bigger than 1,800 Canadian football fields. The reasons to object were clear – we wanted to protect our food land and source water.

Today the fight to protect water continues with bulk water-bottling companies taking on the role of Goliath.

However, fighting to protect farmland is not as easy. The agricultural industry is in transition. People can see family farms changing – becoming industrialized – and there seems to be little difference between one ugly, toxic industry and another so it's hard to champion the farmland cause.

Yet, we need to eat and we want our children to be healthy so we can't abdicate our responsibility. Now more than ever we need to have our say.

But what do we say and when? How do we defend an industry that pollutes? Uses pesticides and herbicides? Distributes GMOs? There are often more questions than answers.

So Food & Water First has tried to answer those questions and give you food for thought. We hope to give you compelling reasons to champion farmland in the next provincial election.

Take a look at the "Volunteer Handbook". If your questions are addressed then let us know. If you have another point of view, then tell us. Or if you have another question do not hesitate to ask. Help us to prepare our talking points for a Volunteer Action in 2018!

Donna Baylis
Executive Director
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Updated Land Use Plans Are Official

It is Official.

ontariologoOntario has released four updated land use plans to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Niagara Escarpment Plan are the latest step in the government's reform of Ontario's land use planning system.

In a media presentation held on May 18, Municipal Affairs Minister, Bill Mauro announced the release of the Four Land Use Plans.

Quick Facts
 The Greater Golden Horseshoe is forecasted to grow by approximately 4 million people over the next 25 years and will be home to more than 13.5 million people, working in 6.3 million jobs by 2041.

 The updated plans are the result of almost two years of consultation and study.

 The updated plans build on the Provincial Policy Statement to establish a unique land-use planning framework for the GGH that supports complete communities, a thriving economy, a clean and healthy environment and social equity.

 Other reforms to the land use planning system include releasing an updated 2014 Provincial Policy Statement, reforming the Planning Act and Development Charges Act through the Smart Growth for Our Communities Act and proposed reforms to the Ontario Municipal Board.

Background Information.


You may have some questions such as:

What do these land use plans do?

When will the updated plans take effect?

Won't the updated plans place a greater burdern on municipalities?

Without the OMB how do you expect to implement these plans?

Answers to these questions and more.


 (The information above are excerpts from public documents released by The Province of Ontario.) 



Proposed Changes to Land Use Appeal System

May 16, 2017

Ontario Announces New Proposed Changes to the Land Use Planning and Appeal System



Concern about Food Supply a Global Issue

Our food system has served us well until now but land use pressures and climate change will make it harder in future.

Cyclone Debbie, which lashed the Queensland coast a week ago, has hit farmers hard in the area around Bowen – a crucial supplier of vegetables to Sydney, Melbourne and much of eastern Australia.

With the Queensland Farmers’ Federation estimating the damage at more than $100m and winter crop losses at 20%, the event looks set to affect the cost and availability of fresh food for millions of Australians. Growers are reportedly forecasting a price spike in May, when the damaged crops were scheduled to have arrived on shelves.



Fresh food for growing cities

Australia’s cities are growing rapidly, along with those of many other countries. The United Nations has predicted that, by 2050, 87% of the world’s population will live in cities. This urban expansion is putting ever more pressure on peri-urban food bowls.

Food production is also under pressure from climate change, raising the risk of future food shocks and price spikes after disasters such as cyclones. Meanwhile, the desire for semi-rural lifestyles is also conflicting with the use of land for farming (see Sydney’s Food Futures and Foodprint Melbourne for more).

These pressures mean that Australia’s cities need to make their food systems more resilient, so that they can withstand food shocks more easily and recover more quickly.

Read full story.