Environmental concerns could take a backseat to housing for Mississauga, Brampton politicians


Published April 13, 2022 at 4:05 pm


While some politicians in Mississauga and Brampton have decided a proposed highway that cuts across Caledon will have too much of a negative environmental impact, they may not feel the same way when it comes to building houses.

A report that will come to Peel Region council tomorrow (April 14) recommends opening up 10,000 acres of farmland for development, a move deemed necessary because of the growth that is occurring.

The land affected includes part of northern Brampton but is mostly in Caledon.

The report will be part of overall changes to Peel’s official plan and calls for measures to meet the expected 700,000 jump in population in the next 30 years.

To be fair, local politicians are trying to adhere to demands of the Ontario government that they must find more housing options through intensification of existing urban areas or expand into what has been historic greenspace on urban lands.

RELATED: Mississauga not interested in Ontario government’s highway sales pitch

As well, commitments by Ottawa to annually increase immigration to record-breaking numbers – people who mostly find their way to GTA – adds to the dilemma.

One Peel politician, who spoke confidentially with insauga.com, explained the decision-making process this way:

“We are being squeezed from all sides,” the person explained. “People keep flooding into Peel and we have to make room for them. Residents in existing neighbourhoods don’t want to see more condos. But if we look to grow into rural areas, those same residents will scream at us for destroying farms and ruining the environment. Everybody’s right, but something has got to give.”

Complicating matters for Peel politicians is the stance some have taken against Premier Doug Ford’s plan to build Highway 413 to meet growth.

Slated to connect Highway 400 to Highway 401, some councillors in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon have taken a political stand against the highway on the grounds that it will destroy valuable greenspace.

Now the Region of Peel is considering cutting its own swath of rural destruction.

At tomorrow’s meeting, Peel Region councillors will hear arguments from environmentalists who have lined up to appear before politicians to denounce the plan.

Included is former Toronto mayor David Crombie, who believes the report on the table advocates nothing short of urban sprawl that will come at a high ecological price.

Developers, in the meantime, eagerly anticipate the opportunity for more places to build.

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