There are all kinds of great reasons why the Greenbelt, and expanding the Greenbelt makes sense, including:
- ensuring clean water and healthy food;
- enabling a vibrant and sustainable local agricultural base;
- protecting a quality of life and enjoyment of nature and the out-of-doors that is among the best in the world.
You can find some excellent research and written reports providing evidence for the importance of the Greenbelt at the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, including information on current research, here, and previously written reports, here.
For your convenience we've included select reports below.
"Protecting Greenbelt Wetlands: How effective is policy? presents the findings of a two-year study that investigated the extent to which new legislation, policy and stronger legal standards are serving to protect and restore wetlands in ontario’s greenbelt.
Undertaken by Ducks Unlimited Canada, Earthroots, Ecojustice and Ontario Nature, the study comprised four components: a comprehensive analysis of the legal and policy framework, a planners survey, nine case studies and an analysis of the cumulative impact of water takings. The report examines the strengths and weaknesses of the three provincial land-use plans in effect across the greenbelt—the Niagara Escarpment Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Greenbelt Plan — and their intersection with other laws and policies relevant to wetland protection. It also considers issues related to policy implementation, including capacity at the municipal level, monitoring of compliance and effectiveness, the sequencing of project approvals and ongoing threats to wetlands and wetland function."
"Co-authoured by professor Wayne Caldwell, of the University of Guelph, and recognized expert on agricultural and rural planning issues, Farming in Ontario’s Greenbelt: Possibility Grows Here, provides recommendations to ensure economic prosperity and viability of farming in Ontario.
“The Greenbelt Plan was created, in part, to protect prime agricultural lands from urban development and our research shows that farmers can appreciate this,” says Caldwell. “While we heard diverse views from farmers, they maintain a strong commitment to a progressive and productive agricultural sector.”
Research conducted through consultations across the Greenbelt concludes that most challenges to farming are universal across the province and not a result of the Greenbelt Plan. Frustrations result from the layers and multiple interpretations of the regulations they face - not necessarily from the regulations themselves. Farmers suggested that successfully navigating through federal, provincial, and municipal regulations now takes much longer than previously. Many appreciate the opportunities of a near-urban location, including proximity to thriving economic activity and easier access to growing markets."
Farmland At Risk - 4MB
"Farming in the Greater Golden Horseshoe has important economic and ecological benefits. Farmland at Risk, co-produced by Environmental Defence and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, calls for improved land-use planning that views farmland as essential to the region – not as development land-in-waiting. The report outlines that Ontario needs to do a better job protecting farmland and helping farmers thrive."