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Friday, August 31, 2012

Sustainable Brant
Matter: local awareness and understanding of farmland and environmental health issues
Concern: farmland grab, waste reduction, incineration, and pollution
Goal: empowerment of residents to address farmland and pollution issues
Residents are being overwhelmed by developers and off shore investors, and forced to accept developents that do not fi t with their vision for Brant County. Sustainable Brant helps residents to organize to protect their own communities and to work together to protect Brant County’s farmland, air andwater, and our rural communities. For more information, contact sustainablebrant@gmail.com

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Brant/Brantford "Greenbelt": Development Pressures

The Brant/Brantford Greenbelt

“If people indentify with their local greenbelt, they will protect it. “  (Key message from the Global Greenbelt Conference, March, 2011)

In 1980, the Ontario government created the first “greenbelt” in Ontario – a swath of land in Brant County, surrounding Brantford. Under provincial Bill 120, the province set aside an area for “permanent agricultural and rural related uses”. See the attached map. Brant/Brantford “Greenbelt”

This “greenbelt”, created after negotiation between the City, the County and the Province, was intended to set an example for other communities with development squabbles on farmland on the edge of cities.

The Brant/Brantford “greenbelt” lies only a few miles away from the western edge of the Ontario Greenbelt. At its northeastern edge, the Brant/Brantford greenbelt is only one mile from the provincial greenbelt!

Developers argue that the Brant/Brantford greenbelt has expired, and they have been busy buying up farmland and presenting development plans and maps to Brant County council. One developer’s map would pave over all of the farmland between Brantford and the western edge of the Ontario Greenbelt. Map

Many wonder why the Province excluded its very first “greenbelt” from the Ontario Greenbelt? Below is one proposed expansion of the Ontario Greenbelt, but it does not go far enough.  There is tremendous development pressure just south of Branford, to the west of the proposed expansion of the Greenbelt. Map

Over 2,500 people have signed a petition to expand the Ontario Greenbelt in Brant County. Link. Please sign our petition and help us to protect Ontario’s first greenbelt.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Radio Press Release - Election Survey Results

Sustainable Brant
 Election Survey Results
Sustainable Brant members are pleased to report a high return on their election survey.Candidates answered 17 questions based on two themes: 

1)     Protecting the ecology of our county:   air and water quality, prime farmland and heritage buildings; promoting local food , waste diversion and sustainable transportation, and

2)     Fostering democracy:  banning corporate and union donations, enabling delegations to council, fostering more transparency at council and keeping sewer and water infrastructure public.
In general candidates strongly opposed annexation of county lands by Brantford, and
amalgamation of the county and city.  There was good support for local food initiatives, preserving heritage buildings, improving waste diversion efforts and for more openness and dialogue with ratepayers. 

Some candidates showed interest in learning more about more ecological practices in other municipalities. These practices include: waste diversion, banning on the spread of sewage sludge on farmland, protecting farmland, and more sustainable ways in other communities of moving people and goods (rather than building the proposed highway 424).

A number of the candidates oppose the privatization of water and sewer infrastructure, would like to see stringent monitoring by the county of air emissions from the new brick factory at the airport, and do not find the Green Hub process to be clear, open or democratic.
None of the candidates who replied declared that they accepted donations from corporations or unions

Very few candidates addressed the possible shipment of Brant’s garbage to Six Nations to be incinerated or local food procurement.

To get a good grasp of candidates’ opinions, check out:

Sustainable Brant 
(sustainablebrant@gmail.com, Tel: 519-647-0307)

Brant County Election Survey

Food not Sprawl
Vote October 25

Your elected representatives will decide on a number of key issues on your behalf. Will they represent your views?

We asked candidates questions based on two themes:

1) Protecting the ecology of our county : air and water quality, prime farmland and heritage buildings; promoting local food , waste diversion and sustainable transportation, and

2) Fostering democracy : banning corporate and union donations, enabling delegations to council, fostering more transparency at council and keeping sewer and water infrastructure public.

Read the replies: sustainablebrant.blogspot.com

Will our economic development be based on:
  • fostering Brant County as a “ food basket ” - building a local, healthy food economy OR on making Brant County a “garbage hub ” - accepting garbage and toxic materials from other communities?
  • How will farmers compete with the foreign land grab in Brant County? Will Brant become another Mississauga ?
  •  Will council protect our heritage one-room schools and community centres throughout the county?
  • Will council ensure that we do not accept “dirty industry ”?

Follow councilor's records. Here is a sampling:

Recorded vote on residential development of the Innes-Welton farms;
  • Councilors voting to protect prime farmland : : Powell, Atfield, Simons, Schmidt, Haggart and Gatward
  • Council or s voting for development on prime farmland : Eddy, Wheat , Hodge, Chambers, an d Coleman. [Mar3/09 ]

Restricting Delegations: we convinced council to defeat a motion from Councilor Chambers that would “restrict delegations that have a pp eared previously at Committee or Council meetings from speaking on the same issue”. Defeated. (Apr. 7, 2009 Council minutes).

Check out the candidates: We must be vigilant due to development pressure on our council. Ward 5 residents: Although your candidates have been acclaimed, you can still vote for Mayor.

Vote October 25, 2010

Sustainable Brant: We protect health, preserve farmland and our rural heritage buildings, and foster a local food based economy.

Contact sustainablebrant@gmail.com , 519-647-0307 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

County of Brant: Paris Agricultural Society Debate

Please note: The video may take a little while to load and begin playing. Please be patient.
Video recorded by ArcPro HD Video Productions