Local and Regional Councillor, Jane Fogal, recently brought forward a motion to request that Halton Region delay the final report on its Official Plan (OP) Review on the principles of the Town’s Public Engagement Charter and the significance of the changes.
“Simply put, this is just too important a planning document to not insist on having a more robust consultation program by Halton Region and one that includes in-person engagement,” said Councillor Jane Fogal.
“I recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has negated our ability to gather but the Region’s OP has significant implications to our already dwindling farmland which we know, is integral to our food sustainability.”
The OP Review fulfills Halton’s legislative responsibility for local growth plans to align with provincial direction as to how and where growth will occur over the next 30 years.
Changes that pressure local municipalities to convert more farmland to urban uses are included in the OP, which runs contrary to the Regional direction in order to protect the local agricultural system.
“I want to be sure that the right stakeholders are at the table and that they clearly understand the growth options that are under consideration to 2051,” said Mayor Rick Bonnette.
Additionally, the motion noted a request to the province of Ontario to ‘suspend the timetable for municipal conformity to the Growth Plan and the Provincial Policy Statement to ensure that the public can fully participate in the process of planning their communities for the next 30 years of growth.’
“It’s important,” said the Mayor, “That our residents have the opportunity to understand and weigh in on decisions that will impact what the future of the community will look like as the Town meets prescribed growth and density targets while accommodating local needs.”