Our new Mayor Bobbie Drew keeps saying she loves the Greenbelt, and yet, just two months in office, she has done everything in her power to hand Scugog’s Greenbelt over to developers.
In January, she supported Bill 66 at Regional Council. This proposed legislation, now cancelled, would have exempted developers from all environmental regulation, opening the Greenbelt to development through secret deals with no public notice or opportunity for appeal. While other Greenbelt community Mayors, municipal councils, and planners expressed serious concerns about Bill 66, Mayor Drew posted a statement of support on the Township’s website–inaccurately claiming Scugog needed more employment land (it doesn’t–we have plenty, most of it vacant).
Undeterred by facts or researched opinion, the Mayor this week declared a need to build subdivisions in Scugog’s Greenbelt. The source of this inspiration is unknown as there was no public consultation or evidence provided to support the assertion. However, from her comments to Council, the Mayor apparently believes that just a little bit of sprawl (sensitively done of course) will somehow help pay for infrastructure (though that hasn’t been the case anywhere else) and can be done, amazingly, while protecting farmland (though I am pretty sure sprawl requires land).
As a result, at Council on Monday, she promoted a resolution asking the Ontario Government to permit Scugog to expand the development boundaries of any settlement in the Township, contrary to current Greenbelt legislation. This resolution passed with no financial, economic, environmental or demographic analysis and received little discussion and no opposition from the attending Councilors. In effect, Scugog Council advocated for a major policy change from the province, one that could have profound and long-term implications for residents, in the complete absence of any measure of evaluation. I am at a loss to explain the motivations of the Mayor–but I do know when a community discovers fake leaders, real ones will stand up.
David Le Roy, Scugog
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