Saturday’s ‘Simcoe North Unites to Protect the Greenbelt’ rally drew over one hundred sign-waving people in Orillia to protest the Ford government’s ‘Build More Houses Faster (Bill 23)’ and their unilateral decision to open up sections of the Greenbelt for development. More gathered simultaneously at a similar rally in Midland.
Sustainable Orillia representatives, along with friends and family joined with Green Orillia, the Couchiching Conservancy and First Nation representatives to support this important event. Orillia Councillors Fallis and Durnford were on-hand, urging participants to continue to push back on Bill 23 and Greenbelt Development, plus provided an update on an upcoming motion for the City of Orillia to communicate its opposition to these actions.
The Orillia rally took place in front of MPP Jill Dunlop’s (Simcoe North) office and once again, despite plenty of notice there was no one on hand to meet with the protestors. A quick canvassing confirmed that most of those present had already called or contacted Ms.Dunlop’s office and to-date had not received either an acknowledgement or a response. It was noted that over the years Ms. Dunlop has publicly and emphatically voiced her opposition to Greenbelt development – and yet, she voted in support of the Bill and the development decision.
After an active gathering here in Orillia, the majority of the protestors car-pooled over to Coldwater, to join up with our counterparts from Midland … coming together, Simcoe North Unites to Protect the Greenbelt against development in Coldwater, Ms. Dunlop’s home base.
Public consultation on the GreenBelt Development decision is open until December 4th – there is still time and everyone is encouraged to express their concerns by contacting your local MPP’s office, sending a letter to local media and sharing your concerns with friends and neighbours. Watch for more rallies and ways you can participate in protecting not only the Greenbelt, but also the progress that has been made to recognize how critical it is for us all to stand up for the environment, now, before it is too late.