Friday May 12, 2023 – Volunteers Jan Larsen (left) and Legh McNabb (right)
More than 400 citizens from South River to Severn Bridge have signed a “Yours To Protect Action” letter delivered today, to member of provincial parliament (MPP) Graydon Smith, minister of natural resources and forestry.
The letter calls on him to reinstate municipal site plan approvals for developments under 10 units, critical to the protection of shorelines and lakes. Among the letter’s other demands: take action to protect the wetlands recently disqualified by Bill 23 and end the paving of Ontario’s farmland across the Greenbelt and beyond, lands essential to food security across Ontario.
“Our local economy and the well-being of future generations depend on these actions,” said Arleigh Luckett, president of the Green Party of Ontario (GPO) Parry Sound-Muskoka constituency association.
Bill 23 is not just about building housing in the Greenbelt, but also opening Muskoka to development that threatens Muskoka shorelines, wetlands and forests.
“People told me they want housing for the people who live and work here, housing they can afford to buy in their own community,” said volunteer Legh McNabb. “Not housing that sprawls onto shorelines and guts forested areas.”
The “Yours To Protect Action” was organized by local volunteers with the Parry Sound-Muskoka Ontario Greens. Representatives asked the MPP to meet with them to present the letters with its hundreds of signatures.
The minister’s office declined an in-person appointment stating Smith has a full schedule and is unavailable to meet at this time. At the request of the minister’s staff, letters were delivered to the office.