TORONTO — Environmental Defence has issued a statement urging Ontario municipal candidates to pledge to build more homes in existing suburbs rather than contributing to sprawl into farmlands, forests and other natural areas.
Quickly building a lot more homes within the province’s existing post-Second World War suburbs should be the top priority for municipal politicians, said Environmental Defence in its first two election platform documents, covering Toronto and the 905 municipalities.
The platforms represent environmental standards against which candidates can be tested during the campaign, stated a release.
Homes for 1.4 million are needed in Toronto by 2051, while other communities must quickly transform low-density suburbs into complete communities, Environmental Defence stated.
“Quickly welcoming a lot of new homes to established neighbourhoods is an essential tool to fight sprawl,” said Phil Pothen, Ontario environment program manager at Environmental Defence. ”But committing to accommodating a lot more people in existing Scarborough, Brampton, Orleans, Pickering and Oakville subdivisions is also key to delivering on our other environmental ‘litmus test’ commitments, like cost-effective top-quality public transit, a quick rollout of cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, and shifting the majority of our day-to-day travel away from cars and SUVs.”
Environmental Defence also called on municipal governments across Ontario to reject mega-highways like Highway 413 and use their bylaw and spending powers to oppose climate-change-causing fossil gas electrical generation and fossil gas heating and cooking for new homes.