Bill 23

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21

submitted by Steve Gabell

Doug Ford and Steve Clark, along with the rest of the Progressive Conservatives, have just shown the utter contempt they hold for the electorate. 

On Dec 7, 2018, Steve Clark tweeted “My commitment to protecting the Greenbelt has not changed. The Greenbelt includes over 2 million acres of land in the GGH, including farmlands, forests, wetlands & watersheds. Our government remains steadfast in protecting it for future generations”. 

On Feb 21, 2022, Doug Ford stated that he was “committed to protecting and growing the Greenbelt” and that he “will not consider any proposals to remove or develop any part of it”. 

These statements leave no room for doubt or misinterpretation: the Greenbelt was supposed to be safe with Ford and Clark. In total Ford and Clark declared the Greenbelt would be protected at least 20 times since Feb 2018, yet barely 18 months after stating his commitment to protecting the Greenbelt, Doug Ford passed Bill 23 clearing the way to start paving over the Greenbelt and allowing land speculators to cash in. 

Politicians develop platforms for the electorate to vote on. Although not every commitment in a platform will always be met, in this case, our government is not just failing to meet a stated aim, it is doing something that it explicitly promised not to. 

Ford and Clark are poisoning the well of Civil Society.  Their actions feed voter apathy and the claims that “politicians can’t be trusted”. They should be ashamed of their behaviour. Yet they continue to move forward with their plans as if they are a ‘win’ for the people. Who will hold them accountable? 

We need our politicians to be honest and trustworthy, to be people of integrity. People who have demonstrated their integrity in their daily lives, such as Fiona Jager, a professor of nursing who ran as the Green candidate in this riding in the last election, or Steve Gabell, a pharmacist who is the President of the local Green party Constituency Association.

Greens do politics differently. We are a member-led party, and participatory democracy is a core Green value. All our policies are developed and approved by our members, not by the rich or those with vested interests. If you want people-powered change, join the Ontario Greens. Together, we will hold our government accountable. 

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