June 1 Media Event at Queen's Park

February 5, 2024

On June 1st the Alliance for a Liveable Ontario held a press conference at Queen's Park. Our message was clear and simple: a broad coalition of groups from across Ontario is calling on the Province to stop their plans to build the wrong housing in the wrong places.

-Watch David Crombie tell the Premier "keep your hands off the Greenbelt" and "tell the truth about the housing crisis" at the 7 min mark.

-Read the media release here.

-Learn more about what you can do here.

Media Event Participants:

-David Crombie, former Mayor of Toronto, former federal Cabinet Minister, former Chair of the Ontario Greenbelt Council, and Chair of the Friends of the Golden Horseshoe (starts at 1:20 here)

-Rav Singh, Farmer & Regional Council Member, National Farmers Union — Ontario (starts at 8:07 here)

-Martin Straathof, Executive Director, Ontario Farmland Trust (starts at 11:38 here)

-Alejandra Ruiz Vargas, Representative ACORN Toronto (starts at 13:48 here)

-Tim Gray, Executive Director, Environmental Defence Canada (starts at 17:00 here)

Key quotes from the participants:

Martin Straathof, Executive Director of the Ontario Farmland Trust.

“We need Premier Ford and Minister Clark to listen to the experts who have repeated the same message: developing on farmland is not what’s needed to address the housing crisis. Focus instead on where people live. There is enough land already set aside within municipal borders to build well over 2 million homes. Doing this will save farmland that’s needed to feed the people of our communities.” (At 9:38)

Rav Singh, National Farmers Union -Ontario

“... on the real solutions needed to provide affordable housing for all Ontarians. Solutions like focusing urban growth within existing urban settlement areas, providing affordable housing options in existing rural communities, ensuring farmland is affordable for the next generation of farmers, and permanently protecting our finite agricultural soils and land base for growing the food we all rely upon.” (At 11:50) 

Alejandra Ruis Vargas, ACORN Toronto: 

“Let me tell you how tenants see urban sprawl and how it’s going to affect us….for houses that are far away, we’ll need a car because there are no buses. It’s going to be more expensive, you will lose time with your family and friends, your culture is gone. Who says this will be affordable? There is no way this will be affordable.” (At 15:25)

Tim Gray, Environmental Defence Canada:

“There are not going to be any $300,000 homes built on all of this sprawl. They are going to be over $1 million a piece, as Alejandra was saying. We need to listen to the Housing Affordability Taskforce. We need to build in neighbourhoods, we need to build close to transit and walkable areas. We need to build close to services…. Massive sprawl and sprawl in the Greenbelt is never going to solve housing affordability.” (At 22:36)

David Crombie: Friends of the Golden Horseshoe:

“These are thoughts to the Provincial Government: Keep your hands off the Greenbelt… unless you want to expand its legacy. Tell the truth about the housing crisis. It’s not about land, it’s about housing. It’s not more land, it’s more affordable housing we need. And one final thought for the Premier and his colleagues. Don’t underestimate your decision to undermine and destroy the Greenbelt. People in this Province are already on the march.” (At 7:13)