We discuss Halton Region’s crucial vote last week against expanding the urban boundaries of its municipalities to allow development on farmland. It’s the top-level or single tier municipality to do so, in what appears to be a major sea-change in public opinion in favour of halting sprawl in the 905. We invited on two councillors who took part in the vote, Burlington’s Paul Sharman and Halton Hills Jane Fogal, who have opposing views about the right decision for Halton, to explain their perspectives.
Stop Sprawl Ham ONT is fighting to stop the proposed urban expansion of Hamilton onto farmland and to direct the focus to intensification in the downtown core. One of the founders of this group is Nancy Hurst. Nancy helped to found Stop Sprawl HamONT in January 2020. The campaign has gathered over 5000 supporters and peppered the city with anti-sprawl lawn signs. She joins us to discuss the campaign and how we should be thinking of our cities in the 905.
The story of Burlington’s Official Plan review goes to the heart of how we build a better future in the 905. What does this divisive experience say about local democracy and development in Ontario? What works? What is broken? What needs to change? Over the next several weeks, I hope to shed some light on these questions.
This week we discuss the provincial background to how our cities are run with Zac Spicer, Director of Research at the Institute of Public Administration in Canada. Zac provides a wealth of insight, based on his years as a researcher into Ontario’s municipalities, about the background context which shaped how Burlington’s controversial OP was written and then rewritten, and how debates in other 905 cities are taking shape.