Belfountain Village Church – Candlelight Service Dec 23rd at 7:30pm

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Bill 66 Newspaper Articles

Further to our recent email regarding Bill 66 and what you can do to have your voice heard, The Toronto Star has published this clear concise outline of what is happening and what it means to us. Developing the Greenbelt is a disaster on multiple levels

BILD (Building Industry and Land Development) has had a number of articles in The Toronto Star Real estate section and some local papers that suggest land restrictions are driving up housing supply/affordability. It is important that we all challenge these assertions by the development industry. 

What the articles by developers don’t say:

·  Developers caused major delays by taking municipal plans to the OMB- something they     can’t do anymore thanks to new provincial policy- LPAT
·  Housing prices have decreased since the high in 2017 and are expected to moderate (CMHC Housing Market Outlook)
· The 2017 Growth Plan increases density – by making more efficient use of land, (less sprawl) requiring fewer km of pipes, which should help reduce house prices, especially if as   they say land is the biggest cost factor. 
·  Intensification and infill makes housing more affordable and provides alternative forms of housing, laneway, mid-rise, etc.
·  Location remains one of the key drivers of real estate prices and rental prices. People want to live close to amenities and many are willing to pay handsomely to live in downtown         Toronto or along the waterfront (rental study).
·  Population growth hasn’t met forecasts (See Neptis presentation).
·  Growth Plan wasn’t updated using 2016 census data – municipalities, particularly in the outer ring may be projecting more growth than they will achieve. This could impact the          affordability of growth related infrastructure paid by municipalities (i.e. big pipes, etc- See paper by Kevin Eby)
· Commuting by car is expensive. Commuting costs affect the affordability of a less expensive house on the edge of the GTHA. (CMHC study- Is the Commute Worth It?)
· Building more single family homes on the edge of our cities increases congestion on the highways- congestion cost the GTHA between $ 6 billion per year or $125 per household      according to the Toronto Region Board of Trade. Better public transit is a key part of the solution.
· If municipalities are permitted to expand their boundaries, it puts increasing pressure on the Greenbelt.

We expect more media articles in the coming weeks. Please send in letters to your local papers to put the record straight whenever you can.

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Greenbelt Open For Business

This week the Government of Ontario introduced what they call an economic development tool, an open for business planning bylaw (regulation) which would exempt major economic development projects, major employment uses from planning and environmental laws.  This bill gives municipalities the power to override existing legislation that the government sees as impeding economic development that supports jobs through a open for business planning bylaw. Perhaps most disturbing is the provision that allows a project to proceed without a public meeting.  Once the municipality has the Minister’s approval they can move ahead.  Communities in the Greenbelt will literally not know a development is going ahead until the bulldozers start tearing up trees, water sources, habitat and land.
The existing legislation was put in place by all parties, Conservative, Liberal and NDP over the last 30 plus years.  Breaking the promise not to open up the Greenbelt, which Ford had promised to leave intact, shows a disrespect to voters. It also puts the health of farmers and rural landowners at risk. The health of our region depends on valuing our farms, forests, clean water sources and nature.

What Can I Do To Have My Opinion Heard:

Sign the petition stopbill66.ca

Please get on social media and use the hashtag #stopbill66.   Some sample messages, 

  • Premier Ford please call back the legislature to re-introduce Bill 66 with the attack on the Greenbelt, Oak Ridges Moraine and clean drinking water removed. #stopbill66
  • To your friends- Will your municipality be using the province’s Bill 66 to rollback critical environmental legislation for clean drinking water? #stopbill66
  • To your Council- XX municipal council please pass a resolution saying you won’t use an open for business bylaw that threatens drinking water, the Greenbelt, and the Oak Ridges Moraine and stops public participation. #stopbill66
  • Bill 66 rollbacks critical environmental legislation that protects the health of the people, its not either or, we can have a clean environment and a healthy economy. 

If you would like specific instructions how to do this on your computer, please email secretary@belfountain.ca.

Where Can I Get More Information:

MMAH/Planning Act changes in Bill 66, restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act allows municipalities, with ministerial approval, to pass “Open For Business” bylaws that allow municipalities to bypass various planning statutes, including the Greenbelt Act, . Schedule 10 of the Bill amends the Planning Act, section 34.1 to allow municipalities to pass open for business planning by-laws. 

Environmental Defence held a facebook live event yesterday that gives a really good overview of the issue and why it matters.

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Reserve Your Seat for 2018 Belfountain Community Christmas Potluck Please

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Preservation of Rural Community Character and Infill Policy Review – Town of Caledon Sessions

The Town of Caledon is asking for community input and insight to inform and shape the plans for the preservation of rural community character and infill.  These are the details of their sessions.

 

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Up-Coming Event – Saturday, December 1: Long Journey Home: A Prague Love Story

UP-COMING EVENT Saturday, December 1: Long Journey Home: A Prague Love Story

Reading and Book Launch. Helen Notzl’s memoir with live music from Caitlin Ciampaglia, 3:00 to 4:30 at The Common Good Café, 758 Bush Street in Belfountain.

Long Journey Home: A Prague Love Story
A new memoir by local Belfountain author and BCO Board Member Helen Notzl

A four-year-old girl survives a harrowing escape across a heavily armed border of Czechoslovakia with her mother and brother after the Communist takeover in 1948. The family leaves everything behind to flee to freedom in Canada.

Years later, as a young woman living in Toronto, despite growing up with the security and comfort of Canada, she finds herself irresistibly drawn to the country of her birth and returns during the dark days of the brutal communist regime, finding long-lost family, danger, love, and heartbreak.

With intense drama, vivid narration, and brilliant detail, Long Journey Home tells the story of a quest for those things that truly matter to all of us: love, identity, family and home. A moving memoir filled with political intrigue, family secrets, passionate revolutionaries and, at the centre of it all, a woman torn between two countries and the love of two men.

Readers are saying, “A memoir that reads like a novel, a thriller – I couldn’t put it down!”

Long Journey Home: A Prague Love Story is  perfect Christmas gift for family and friends.

Helen Notzl is an executive coach and life coach, and was the founder of Toronto’s Pauline McGibbon Cultural Centre, a showcase for women in the arts. She lives in Caledon south of Belfountain and together with her husband, Walter Keyser, travels several times a year to their apartment in Prague.

Available at BookLore in Orangeville, Forsters Book Garden in Bolton, and numerous local retailers including The Common Good Café and Higher Ground in Belfountain, and Hannah’s in Erin.

 

 

 

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Hamilton and Area Hikes, Loops & Lattes by Nicola Ross and Amy Darrell

With more than 100 waterfalls within its city limits, Hamilton (aka Steeltown) is arguably the waterfall capital of the world. Amy Darrell teams up with Nicola Ross to map out 34 looping routes for hikers to explore the scenic wonders, interesting villages and best spots for a post-hike treat in Hamilton and the County of Brant.

Amy Darrell, who grew up in the shadow of the Devil’s Pulpit, is active in creating strong, sustainable communities. Caledon’s Nicola Ross is an environmental activist and writer.  Her other wildly successful Loops & Lattes guides cover Caledon, Halton and Dufferin.

The books can be purchased at both Higher Ground and The Common Good in Belfountain or on website www.nicolaross.ca.

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Handel’s Messiah

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Belfountain Resident, David Kendall’s latest Publication SLAG

David Kendall’s ‘ecological thriller’ titled SLAG would surely be an ideal Christmas present.

You’ll revel in the reading of this novel, and have the further comfort of knowing that every penny of its $15.95 price goes to the Bruce Trail and the Escarpment Biosphere conservancies. It’s also available on Amazon and Kobo as an e-book at $9.95, and again every penny goes to the two conservancies.

David is a Belfountain resident who worked 21 years as a staff reporter with the Toronto Sun Newspaper. His first novel co-won the Seal First Novel Award and was later released as an MGM feature motion picture called Where The River Runs Black.

The subjects around which David’s ‘ecological thrillers’ revolve are the threatened ingredients of our inherited environment. Did you know that Appendix I endangered female gyrfalcons from the Canadian north sell at $100,000 a pop to Saudi falconers? That a single truckload of severed shark fins could be worth a million dollars? Yet the longest sentence any trader in endangered animals has suffered in Canada is three months. It’s money like drugs, penalties like shop-lifting. My heroes–and the heroes of every endangered species across the planet–are the men and women who risk their lives in the defense of Nature.

Promo words on the back cover of SLAG:

“Inama Meena is a “dalit,“an ‘untouchable’. He is one of 200 million outcastes born to be spurned by the rest of Indian society, bound by the belief that he earned his life of lowly drudgery in a previous incarnation. He immigrates to Canada and works as a street cleaner. Can a person so warped of spirit resurrect himself in ‘the land of the free’? One day, in a Spadina Avenue gutter, his broom unearths a severed finger. It happens outside an up-market Chinese restaurant. So starts Inama’s incursion into the dark world of the illegal shark fin trade.”

You can buy SLAG through the websites of the Bruce Trail or the Escarpment Biosphere. To avoid paying for shipping, buy it at Renaissance shop in Erin, The Higher Ground Café and the Common Good in Belfountain, or from David Kendall at inkarri28@yahoo.ca or by phone at 519-927-3204.

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Santa’s Mailbox and Luminaria

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