“They paved paradise, put up a parking lot. …”
– Joni Mitchell, from Big Yellow Taxi, 1969
How much more of our natural heritage are we going to cover over with low-density sprawl like this?
A Foreword by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted July 11th, 2019 on Niagara At Large
To repeat one of those mangled phrases made famous by the late New York Yankees baseball legend Yogi Berra; “It’s like déjà vu all over again.”
It is a phrase that seems fitting in Ontario these days as the province’s current premier, Doug Ford, and his Tory government take us back a couple of decades to the dark years of Ford’s old friend and mentor, former Tory premier Mike Harris, when cutting and gutting policies and programs for protecting what is left of our natural heritage to unleashing low -density urban sprawl was the rule of the day.
Doug Ford, then still leader of the opposition Ontario PC Party, in Niagara Falls, already pledging to make Ontario “open for business” in the weeks leading up to the June, 2018 provincial election
Under a mantra of “open for business” (as if all our province and the regions in it are is venues for doing business), the Ford government has been changing rules and regulations in ways that make it easier for the greediest and most irresponsible and backward-thinking members of the development industry to have a hay day with lands that should otherwise be protected and preserved for farming and for supporting a health and rich diversity of life (including ours) on this planet.
Like Harris before him, Ford’s “open for business” mantra is, among other things, a way of selling us on the idea that we have to make a choice between economic growth and environmental protection or that when it comes to our wetlands, for example, we have to continue accepting a balance between urban growth and what few wetlands or meadows or forests we have left. Continue reading