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We may have won the battle but the war’s not over

Doug Ford has finally decided that the heat’s too much and has backtracked over the Greenbelt debacle. For the latest information, see the CBC, the Globe and Mail, and the Hamilton Spectator. And for a more insightful analysis, see The Conversation, which points out that the Greenbelt giveaway had nothing to do with creating affordable housing and suggests more sensible and realistic solutions.

What does this mean for Hamilton?

In Hamilton, about 2000 acres of foodlands, forests, and wetlands should be safe from destruction. But it leaves another 5400 acres still exposed because of the Ford government’s forced expansion of Hamilton’s urban area despite overwhelming opposition from City Council and the public. A City-run survey in 2020 completed by more than 18,000 people chose “no boundary expansion” by over 90 percent.

So the effort to protect our irreplaceable foodlands, forests, and wetlands has only been partly achieved. And we are still facing massive sprawl development that will greatly increase climate-wrecking greenhouse gas emissions while eliminating the very areas that can cushion us from climatic consequences.

The boundary expansion benefits the same development sector—and in many cases the exact same developers—as were poised to reap billions in the cutting up of the Greenbelt. The motivation of this government will always be profit over people, but now they’ve been shown to be vulnerable. So let’s build on this and fight the next battle in the knowledge that yes, we can win!