Not only has the provincial government not weakened the Greenbelt’s protection of lands in the Golden Horseshoe, it is looking to expand it.
That was welcome news to Bruce Mackenzie, long-time environmental advocate and supporter of Ja Irish and his attempts to protect his woodlot on Hunter Road in Grimsby’s west end.
While David Crombie’s Greenbelt review document was released last December, it did not include any mapping in its findings or total of 87 recommendations.
That was left up to the provincial government and last week the Province announced there would be no Greenbelt lands taken off the protected list.
The Town of Grimsby and Niagara Region had been anticipating lands to the west of Casablanca Boulevard off the end of Livingston Avenue would be freed up, allowing for an extension to be pushed through.
The design of the extension would sever part of the Irish woodlot.
“Today we see that the Province is recommending that the Greenbelt lands in Grimsby below the Escarpment are to remain in the Greenbelt as they were in the original Greenbelt Plan of 2005,” said Mackenzie.
“The proposed extension of Livingston Ave would be entirely in Greenbelted lands.”
Mackenzie noted that supporters of saving the woodlot have asked for proper order be given to the process from there start.
“Save the Woodlot have always stated that the road should not be considered before the Greenbelt review was completed. The review is near completion,” he said.
Part of the process is a new public comment period going on now for the Greenbelt. It continues to Sept. 30.
“The Irish Grove Wood Lot is a natural heritage legacy that most communities would only be envious of. To consider driving a road through the woodlot and the last remaining peach orchards in Grimsby in favour of just more pavement is a shame,” said Mackenzie