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Watch: how to save Ontario’s ‘precarious’ Greenbelt from development pressure

An all-star panel of experts offers insights about sustainable growth and how to keep Southern Ontario’s protected gem safe, even as proposals to build highways and kickstart development threaten to chip it away

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.

We hear it time and time again:
“These are the stories that need to be told and you are some of the only ones telling them,” John, a new member of The Narwhal, wrote in to say.

Investigating stories others aren’t. Diving deep to find solutions to the climate crisis. Sending journalists to report from remote locations for days and sometimes weeks on end. These are the core tenets of what we do here at The Narwhal. It’s also the kind of work that takes time and resources to pull off.

That might sound obvious, but it’s far from reality in many shrinking and cash-strapped Canadian newsrooms. So what’s The Narwhal’s secret sauce? Thousands of members like John who support our non-profit, ad-free journalism by giving whatever they can afford each month (or year).

But here’s the thing: just two per cent of The Narwhal’s readers step up to keep our stories free for all to read. Will you join the two per cent and become a member of The Narwhal today?
We hear it time and time again:
“These are the stories that need to be told and you are some of the only ones telling them,” John, a new member of The Narwhal, wrote in to say.

Investigating stories others aren’t. Diving deep to find solutions to the climate crisis. Sending journalists to report from remote locations for days and sometimes weeks on end. These are the core tenets of what we do here at The Narwhal. It’s also the kind of work that takes time and resources to pull off.

That might sound obvious, but it’s far from reality in many shrinking and cash-strapped Canadian newsrooms. So what’s The Narwhal’s secret sauce? Thousands of members like John who support our non-profit, ad-free journalism by giving whatever they can afford each month (or year).

But here’s the thing: just two per cent of The Narwhal’s readers step up to keep our stories free for all to read. Will you join the two per cent and become a member of The Narwhal today?

Ontario has found 11 species at risk along the planned route of Highway 413: documents

This story is a collaboration between the Toronto Star and The Narwhal. The Ontario government’s own research has found 11 species whose survival is in...

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