GRCA recommends the province wait before expanding the Greenbelt

·2 min read

GRAND RIVER WATERSHED — The Grand River Conservation Authority is recommending the province wait to expand the Greenbelt.

During the Grand River Conservation Authority’s March general meeting, Nancy Davy, the director of resource management, outlined the authority’s comments on the province’s proposal to expand the Greenbelt to include the Paris Galt Moraine.

Davy said the province should wait until municipalities can include protective policies for the moraine in their official plans, and more consultation is needed between the province and municipalities before the expansion proposal is finalized.

The Greenbelt Plan includes a stipulation that municipal policies regarding agriculture and aggregate extraction cannot be more restrictive than those in the Greenbelt Plan.

In the general meeting, Davy said this could potentially be an issue for areas like the Region of Waterloo which has established strong policies to protect ground water, for example requiring aggregate project studies to address the cumulative impacts of past, present and future aggregate projects in the vicinity of the project in question.

The provincial government announced this possible expansion of the Greenbelt in February.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is inviting comments on a proposal to expand the Greenbelt to include the Paris Galt Moraine, a ridge of gravel and geological debris left behind by the movement of glaciers. This will include to include a portion of Waterloo Region and Wellington County.

The proposed study area of this geological feature runs southwest from the town of Erin to Brantford and filters and replenishes surface and groundwater sources.

More to come.

Leah Gerber’s reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. The funding allows her to report on stories about the Grand River Watershed. Email lgerber@therecord.com

Leah Gerber, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Waterloo Region Record