Ontario’s Greenbelt is facing an uncertain moment.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis have made the protection of natural places more important than ever, especially in sprawl-intensive southern Ontario. At the same time, the forests and farmland of the Greenbelt may be chipped away by plans to build highways and open up pockets for development.

“The Greenbelt cannot just be lines on a map,” Conservation Halton CEO Hassaan Basit said at a Thursday panel discussion hosted by The Narwhal about the future of the protected space.

“It cannot continue to be something that’s precarious… that’s chipped away.

So how can the Greater Toronto Area grow sustainably, and how should governments be stewarding the Greenbelt to keep it safe — or even make it bigger? 

Basit and two other expert panellists, former provincial planner Victor Doyle and Wildlife Conservation Society Canada president and senior scientist Justina Ray, came together with The Narwhal’s Ontario bureau for a webinar to help us find answers. Watch it below or read a Twitter play-by-play of the discussion.

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We’ve got big plans for 2024
Seeking out climate solutions, big and small. Investigating the influence of oil and gas lobbyists. Holding leaders accountable for protecting the natural world.

The Narwhal’s reporting team is busy unearthing important environmental stories you won’t read about anywhere else in Canada. And we’ll publish it all without corporate backers, ads or a paywall.

How? Because of the support of a tiny fraction of readers like you who make our independent, investigative journalism free for all to read.

Will you join more than 6,000 members helping us pull off critical reporting this year?

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