Citizens across the province are demonstrating against legislation that opens up environmentally sensitive land up for housing development

By Staff

November 21st, 2022



It has been billed as the “Hands Off the Greenbelt” Rally; one of more than a dozen rally’s taking place across the province in Friday November 25th to protest the provincial government’s Bill 23 and the development of the Greenbelt which will result in increased sprawl and taxes.

The provincial government announced Bill 23 (“More Homes Built Faster Act”), that 7,400 acres of protected land from the Greenbelt. was going to be available for development.

WHEN: Friday, Nov. 25. 2022, 11:30am – 12:30pm

WHERE: 74 Rebecca St., Oakville, ON, L6K 1J2, corner of Rebecca and Kerr

The event has been organized by Aki Tamaka, Sherry Ardell and Dorothy Dunlop

Each of those symbols represents a community that has climate activists demonstrating and trying to get their government to change its mind.

They are part of a grass-roots movement against Bill 23 and the proposed ‘grab’ of the Greenbelt. and have been holding demonstrations across the province.

Aki Tamaka is a climate activist in Oakville.  A wife,  mother of two and a grandmother who has lived in Oakville for 36 years. Born in Ottawa, went to high school there and studied Engineering at the University of Toronto.  In 2019. She  took Climate Reality Leader training with Al Gore.  In 2019, she held a climate strike in front of Oakville Town Hall where, to her surprise, about 150 people attended.  She then formed a Facebook group, Oakville Climate Action to keep people engaged. Since then,she has been organizing rallies / events on climate with Sherry, such as Stop the 413 and Stop Sprawl Halton. She is affiliated with the Oakville Climate Hub.

Sherry Ardell is a former Montrealer has  lived in Oakville for 20 years. She got into climate activism because of her children and grandchild and found a portal through Grand(m)others Act to Save the Planet (GASP).

Dorothy Dunlop has lived in Oakville for 33 years. She attended York, Western and Fanshawe where she studied education and law. Her last work experience included the fulfilling career of teaching children. She became a climate activist and joined Grand(m)others Act To Save The Planet (GASP) because “we need to preserve our natural heritage for our children, grandchildren and future generations.”

These three women are representative of the thousands of people who are gearing up to do everything they can to stop Bill 23 from becoming the law of the land.

The issue is saving sensitive land – winter weather doesn’t stop them.

They have seen what CUPE did for the education workers and know that if you press hard enough – Doug Ford will stand before the TV cameras and say he “doesn’t want to fight.”

Friday in Oakville – during the noon hour. .  Try to be there.

Some suggested that the school boards might make this an event that students could include in their community service hours.  Reach out to the trustees and see if they will make the phone calls for you.



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6 comments to Citizens across the province are demonstrating against legislation that opens up environmentally sensitive land up for housing development

  • Dave Turner

    Mr Demoe. It would seem by the tone of your comment and rudeness towards those who wish to oppose this expansion of city sprawl you must have given up the idea of getting elected for public office. You show your true self.

    • Keith Demoe

      I’m for responsible governing. Just in case you have not been following the news, we have a housing crisis. Based on population numbers, Ontario is short approx. 1.5 million homes compared to other G7 countries. Perhaps one of the reasons, is irresponsible municipal governments impeding development over the years. The so called farmland is already owned (for the most part) by developers decades ago. It may be farmed on for tax purposes, but if you were to listen to the mayor, she makes it sound like it’s where all our grocery stores get their produce from. Halton’s population will be 1.1 million by 2050 and no one that doesn’t already own a home, can afford one…unless of course they are earning over 200k/yr. Current council has (for most part) been anti-development and this will only cause more challenges. If people cannot afford to live in an area, they will leave the area…that means less services will be available for those who may need it. Example…personal support worker who makes only 50k/yr will not be able to afford to live here and they will have to pursue opportunity elsewhere. Having said that, the provincial government is doing their part to make sure municipalities will have limited say on future development. That’s called responsible governing…what is good for the whole…not catering to home owners who want to protect their equity and make it impossible for other families to own. I suspect that is Ward’s base of voters.

      • Dave Turner

        I do not deny there is a housing crisis. But just because there is a crisis does not mean you should be rude to those who disagree with the decision to take greenbelt land. My property value will not be affected one way or another by the decision to build on greenbelt land. I doubt it will have any affect on property values as a whole. You say people are protesting because of a possible adverse affect on property values. But in truth you have absolutely no idea why each individual who attended the protest did so.

        Has the land been held by the developers for a long time or are the acquisitions very recent? The Gazette has already raised the question of insider knowledge being given to developers to acquire the land. So we shall see.

        Last point, so you think developers are going to build affordable RENTAL housing. It does not matter what the offered cost of freehold properties might be because those who need the housing will not be able to get sufficient mortgage funds. Please point out one large scale rental housing development in Burlington begun or proposed in the last 2 years.

      • Dave Turner

        The Gazette recently published an article reporting upon a Toronto Star investigation that found eight of the 15 areas of the Greenbelt where development will soon be allowed have been purchased since Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives were elected in 2018. Provincial Green Party Leader said ““Over half the parcels of land being opened for development in the Greenbelt were purchased after Premier Ford was elected and some of those parcels of land were purchased as recently as September of this year,” Schreiner said.

        Demoe, you said these lands have been held for decades. Were you wrong?

        • Keith Demoe

          I did a search through real estate on ownership…most land between Oakville Milton has been owned for decades by companies…not farmers. The recent info released if correct could be resale of land or other parts of greenbelt etc. But, there is clearly something shady about all of this. Having said that…the writing was on the wall with developing protected lands…population of GTHA is growing significantly…so likely deals were already in the works.

  • Keith Demoe

    All these people protesting should have signs up that spell out their true intentions…’Protect My Home Equity’…that’s really what this protest is all about. Most of this land is not farmed on, nor is it owned by farmers.