The Ontario government’s proposed protection of critical water supplies is a step in the right direction, but more is needed to protect the ground water in Brant County, and stop urban sprawl from paving over our prime farmland.
Brantford, ON – Today, the province announced plans to grow the Greenbelt to protect threatened drinking water sources of 1.25 million people in the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Over the next 90-days, consultations are being held across the Greater Golden Horseshoe. We commend the Ontario government for extending protection of the Paris-Galt moraine as it provides the drinking water for many people in the area.
The Greenbelt permanently protects land from urbanization, one of the biggest threats to water systems. Protecting water in underground aquifers and headwaters is critical to providing communities with the drinking water they need to survive and prosper. On the proposed protection of the Paris-Galt moraine, Brantford Councillor Dave Neumann stated: “Celebrate this tremendous move forward. It is important for Brantford that there be protection of the Grand River watershed because we take our water from the river. Growing the Greenbelt is one way to improve the quality of water."
Farmers, and community groups in the area meanwhile were calling for more protection. Brant County farmer Ted Shelegy commented "(i)t is important that the Greenbelt be extended to Brant County to protect prime agricultural land which is near major urban markets for farmers. We have to preserve as much of our natural areas as we can because our whole economy depends upon ground source water and other natural areas to improve our quality of life."
Viviane Wise, member of Tutela Heights Phelps Road Residents Association, Brantford commented "expansion of the Greenbelt is an important step towards protecting our water and food supply while ensuring each community contributes to worldwide climate change initiatives. We urge our Provincial and Municipal politicians to act now to include the Grand River watershed in the Bluebelt Expansion to protect vital surface and ground water resources from being destroyed by urbanization.”
“Water is increasingly under threat from drought and flooding due to climate change and from development which paves over important water systems,” said Ella Haley, Sustainable Brant. “It is essential that critical water sources are protected now.” While the proposed study area for potential Greenbelt expansion
is a good start, more areas need protection to sustain our water over the long-term. (We urge the province to expand the water systems under protection to include the proposed Bluebelt map for Brant County.) Over 120 communities agree that we need a 1.5 million acre bluebelt.” In addition, 75% of written submissions to Brant County called for Brant County to be included in the expanded Ontario Greenbelt
For more information visit: Protectourwaters.ca.