Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
OPINION: Hell no, we can't grow
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 21 Feb 2007, p. 6

Full Text

Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette, his mayoral counterparts in Oakville, Burlington and Milton, along with the Regional Chair Gary Carr, are hoping there is strength in numbers. They are also acutely aware an Ontario election campaign is only months away and nothing gets a politician's-- especially a premier's-- attention better than a potential firestorm of bad press and voter outrage. That is why they have chosen now to challenge Dalton McGuinty's government's Places to Grow plan and to vow the Province will meet stiff resistance from Halton on the plan-- unless the Province comes through with cash, and lots of it. To be sure, the main numbers in the plan are staggering-- 312,000 more people for Halton by 2031. More frightening is the fact that Burlington and Oakville will be built out by 2021 leaving between 100,000-150,000 people to be accommodated in Halton Hills and Milton alone. To put that growth in perspective, over the past 25 years Halton Hills has grown by 20,000 people-- a rate many residents feel was too fast. Potentially, depending on Milton's growth rate, Halton Hills could grow by a rate five times as fast as it did over the past 25 years. Imagine, for a moment Halton Hills with a 100,000plus population. The small-town atmosphere found here, which so many apparently crave (see letters opposite), would quickly be nothing but a fond memory. How the Province expects Halton municipalities to pay for this influx of people, and therefore the needed schools, hospital beds, infrastructure, roads, transit etc. is murky, at best. What is for certain is that the estimated cost (by Halton officials) to implement Places to Grow would be $8.6 billion-- and we're willing to bet that's not taking in inflation. The Province hasn't even met the current funding requirements of Halton and admits it is playing "catchup". We're certain McGuinty and company don't have the extra $8.6 billion needed for Halton or the money that Durham, York and other municipalities would require. Halton municipalities are right to send the province a "Hell no, we won't grow" message at this time. We hope other regions join this fight.

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Date of Publication:
21 Feb 2007
Personal Name(s):
Bonnette, Rick ; Carr, Gary ; McGuinty, Dalton
Corporate Name(s):
Halton Hills ; Oakville ; Burlington ; Milton ; Ontario ; Durham ; York
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OPINION: Hell no, we can't grow