The Bruce Trail Conservancy (BTC) is pleased that the Province of Ontario’s Coordinated Land Use Planning Review Advisory Panel’s report “Planning for Health, Prosperity and Growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe: 2015-2041” has been released.
Early in 2015 the Province of Ontario began a Coordinated Land Use Planning Review encompassing an assessment of four land use plans:
- the Greenbelt Plan
- the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan
- the Niagara Escarpment Plan and
- the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
The Province appointed an Advisory Panel for this Coordinated Review, chaired by David Crombie, to develop recommendations on how to amend and improve the plans. That panel undertook months of public consultation (including town hall meetings and submissions from citizens and organizations) and released its final report December 7th, 2015.
Download the Report:
Planning for Health, Prosperity and Growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe: 2015 - 2041 [PDF 25MB].
View the report's Executive Summary
The Bruce Trail Conservancy submitted formal written comments to the Advisory Panel in May 2015 which outline how the work of the BTC supports the goals of the Coordinated Review and call for:
1. Funding for land preservation on the Niagara Escarpment, a World Biosphere Reserve
2. Improved severance processes, so that land can be preserved more efficiently and affordably
3. Permanent pedestrian access to public lands, so that residents and tourists can remain connected to nature and engaged in its protection
Our preliminary review of the Report released has found several recommendations that are complementary to the BTC’s goal of a preserved Niagara Escarpment with public access via the Bruce Trail. For example, one recommendation contained in the Report is to strengthen protection of natural heritage systems by:
Developing a natural heritage system enhancement strategy for the area of the four plans, including priorities and resources to implement securement, stewardship, restoration and enhancement of natural heritage features, linkages and functions.
As we noted in our May 2015 submission to the Review Panel, broad mandates for preservation and access to natural spaces have been in place for a number of years; a key concern to the BTC is how effectively these mandates are being implemented by other agencies, as poor or no implementation of these good policies hampers our ability to achieve our Mission.
The BTC is very interested to understand how the Advisory Panel’s recommendation on natural heritage systems will be implemented, and how it can support the work of the BTC’s land acquisition and land stewardship efforts. Currently the BTC manages 8,787 acres (3,556 hectares) of Escarpment land and is one of Ontario’s largest land trusts.
Over the coming weeks we will be reviewing the report in more detail to see how the recommendations of the Advisory Panel address the key issues of concern to the BTC, and look forward to continuing to provide input to this important Coordinated Land Use Planning Review.