Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 5 Jul 2006, p. 6

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Only one thing stands in the way of the Ontario government's recently released Places to Grow Plan from being a success-- us. In preparing for a future that sees four million people moving into the Golden Horseshoe over the next 25 years, the Province has determined we can no longer afford to gobble up the region's outlying farmlands and greenfields in the name of suburban sprawl. Their solution is to channel much of this growth into the existing urban boundaries of several communities in the Golden Horseshoe. Theoretically, no one would argue against the goals of this ambitious and visionary plan to curb urban sprawl. Everyone agrees that something must be done to protect our farmland, woodlots, and greenfields from being developed and our air polluted by gas guzzling cars stuck in gridlock. But while everyone agrees something must be done, the reality is that most people don't want it to occur in their own backyard. Therein lies the biggest challenge facing the Places to Grow Act-- public acceptance. Historically, infill developments that increase the population densities of existing neighbourhoods have always run into stiff opposition from existing residents and expensive Ontario Municipal Board appeals usually followed. In the wake of the Places to Grown plan, however, municipal councils have been handed the responsibility of winning over the hearts and minds of their residents. It remains to be seen, however, whether councillors will be willing to stand up to this neighbourhood opposition. Most people concerned about our environment agree that the province has taken a step in the right direction with its Places to Grow plan. The question is whether individual residents will be willing to follow in the province's footsteps when the plan hits close to home.

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5 Jul 2006
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