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We can tackle the rural housing crisis and protect farmland at the same time

This morning, Ontario Greens leader Mike Schreiner held a virtual news conference to highlight the Ontario Greens’ plan to tackle the rural housing affordability crisis while protecting farmland.

 

TORONTO — This morning, Ontario Greens leader Mike Schreiner held a virtual news conference to highlight the Ontario Greens’ plan to tackle the rural housing affordability crisis while protecting farmland.

“The housing crisis is affecting rural communities from east to west, north to south across Ontario,” Schreiner said. “And Doug Ford’s answer? Endless urban sprawl that makes life even less affordable and paves over valuable farmland.”

Ontario is losing 175 acres of farmland everyday, which is the equivalent of five family farms per week. Highway 413 alone would destroy 2,000 acres of prime farmland.

“We can’t eat pavement and asphalt,” Schreiner stressed.

Schreiner also highlighted the negative impact of unfettered urban sprawl on local rural economies — many of which depend on agriculture. “Rural livelihoods are on the line because of Doug Ford’s sprawl agenda,” he said.

The food and farming sector contributes $50 billion and 873,000 jobs to Ontario’s economy.

Ontario Greens will tackle the rural housing affordability crisis and protect farmland and rural livelihoods by:

  • Championing smart growth within existing urban boundaries through gentle density, infill missing middle developments and giving people more housing choices through expanded zoning options.
  • Reinstating the provincial brownfield remediation fund to support rural municipalities in safely building affordable housing on previously industrial sites in existing neighbourhoods.
  • Permanently protecting all prime farmland to maintain food security and economic prosperity.

Please find the full recording of today’s news conference here and the Ontario Greens’ full housing strategy here.

Mike Schreiner will be speaking at the Rural Ontario Municipalities Association conference at 2:30pm.