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Published on Friday, February 24, 2017

Oakville Beaver Editorial: on growth-stopping threats

Oakville's newspaper calls for "measured growth"

Oakville Beaver Editorial: on growth-stopping threats
Halton Region Chair Gary Carr has threatened to stop growth without increased
provincial funding for growth costs - Halton's province-approved growth plan has
core values of sustainability as described in the report on this link:
http://www.urbanstrategies.com/project/halton-region/


Oakville Beaver Editorial
While there is much discussion, ultimatums are bandied about and declarations of civic rebelliousness are made over the issue of growth, it is not likely any of it will live up to its intended goal — to stop growth.

We may have to be content with using the modest tools at our disposal — the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), interim control bylaws, development charges, public opinion, even financing clauses in Official Plans, recently cited by Halton Region Chair Gary Carr — as we welcome respectful growth into our community.

We need only look around us, gaze into the future or examine the past to realize this.

As we celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary this year, we will, in the community, country, and pages of this newspaper, be looking back over that 150 years of history, and more. Our country was born of a union of provinces and territories, and has grown from the efforts of fur traders, First Nations, explorers and settlers, into the multicultural, free, democratic and accomplished country we now prize. Through efforts of our forebears, like William Chisholm who grew Oakville, First Nations people like Joseph Brant and the Mississaugas of The New Credit here and in our neighbouring Burlington and Mississauga, and many generations of newcomers, our country and community have been established.

Despite much debate over growth in north Oakville, we nonetheless see a wall of housing rising north of Dundas Street. Rooftops greet motorists westbound on Dundas Street as they head home from Mississauga. Large properties once housing smaller homes now support monster homes or townhomes. Airplanes fly overhead, causing older residents, unaccustomed to the phenomenon, to stop and ask, ‘What’s that noise?’ Highrises are sprouting up around our harbours. Golf courses like Saw-Whet and Glen Abbey are now the fodder of development proposal arguments at the OMB. Farm properties to the northwest, mostly bear signs indicating development is on the horizon.

While we speak about it, resist it and rail and rally against it, growth is all around us and it isn’t being halted for all our efforts. This edition of the Oakville Beaver carries information about open houses regarding airplane noise (p.7) and future growth areas (p.2).

Driving growth one must realize that from the federal government, to the provincial government, to the regional and then local municipality, come mandates to conform. For instance, Ontario’s Places to Grow dictates to local government, how much and where growth is to occur. It stipulates housing and job numbers to be met by specific dates.

It’s up to local government to make it happen, as done through Official Plans. Municipalities set the tone and the local rules, but must play the game and saying no isn’t necessarily on the table.

Link to story about Halton Chair Gary Carr's anti-growth threats is here: Carr threatens to stop growth in Halton
Canada would not be celebrating 150 if not for growth, but positive, successful progress must be measured and respectful and local government must use all tools at its disposal to ensure that it is.
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Author: Mayor Rob Burton

Categories: Features, News, Opinion

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