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____ Tuesday December 8, 2015 ____

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Ontario's Fresh Water

Crombie report hits the mark: Protect Ontario’s most vulnerable water resources

Environmental groups applaud Advisory Panel for strong stance on protecting the region’s water

Toronto – Growing the Greenbelt into areas of critical ecological and hydrological significance were among key recommendations put forward by David Crombie, Chair of the Coordinated Land Use Planning Review Advisory Panel, this afternoon in their report “Planning for Health, Prosperity and Growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe: 2015-2041.”

“We are thrilled to see that the Crombie Panel has recommended additional lands be added to the Greenbelt, focusing on vulnerable source water areas,” reported Joyce Chau, executive director of EcoSpark. “Ontarians were loud and clear that the protection of our water and natural systems needed to be elevated in areas beyond the Oak Ridges Moraine and adjoining the Greenbelt.”

The report also highlights the untapped potential of the Greenbelt and Growth Plans to address climate change. “The Panel’s focus on climate change throughout this report is an important acknowledgement of what is possible with strong implementation of these plans,” says Caroline Schultz, executive director of Ontario Nature. “As we brace for extreme weather, flooding and droughts associated with climate change the enhancement of our natural systems is key to building resilience.”

The Panel’s recommendations will inform the Province’s next steps as they prepare policy amendments early next year. “We are urging the government to act quickly to grow the Greenbelt during this review,” says Josh Garfinkel, senior campaigner at Earthroots. “Growth pressures are building quickly and we can’t afford to sit idle.”

“We are indebted to David Crombie and members of the Advisory Panel as their advice will surely move us towards a more sustainable future,” says Debbe Crandall, policy advisor for STORM. “Now is the time for the Province to be bold and make these recommendations a reality to protect our land, water and communities.”

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