Wards 3 & 4 Regional Councillor Jane Fogal fears a Town letter sent to the Province as a "shot across the bow" could end up sinking the ship.
Fogal questioned Mayor Rick Bonnette's announcement at an October council meeting that he planned to send a letter to Premier Dalton McGuinty questioning the population numbers in its Places to Grow plan.
The mayor explained he had a recent meeting with Wellington-Halton Hills MP Michael Chong, who suggested through discussions with Bonnette's counterparts in Wellington, that these numbers were not "etched in stone."
The Places to Grow Plan is a provincial document that decrees Halton should plan on doubling its population from 400,000 to 800,000 by 2031 -- with a lot of that growth likely to come to Milton and Halton Hills.
As a result, Bonnette decided write to the Premier, and his ministers responsible for various components infrastructure, waste management)of the plan, asking:
· if all ministries are using the same numbers
· if the numbers are etched in stone and their distribution across the GTA and Golden Horseshoe
· and, will the bulk of population be going to the primary growth centres designated in Halton-- Milton, Oakville and Burlington. It is not clear in the Plan how many will be directed to Halton Hills.
"Hopefully we can get some clarification," said the mayor.
But Fogal warned the mayor to take care how he worded the letter.
"Is this an opening shot across the bow?" asked Fogal.
"It'll be interesting to see the wording on the response when it comes back (from the Premier), and do we really want it to be circulated (to other ministries)? Because if it comes back as something we don't want, we may not want it disseminated to every person out there."
Fogal said the Town's position to the Province will be much clearer, and stronger, once council does a new Strategic Plan in the next term, and perhaps the letter could be sent then.
"It'll be more than an opening shot," said Bonnette, who was reluctant to wait that long.
"I think it's important we stake our ground and get these numbers confirmed."
--By Cynthia Gamble, staff writer