The Political Controversy
A few months ago, developers got permission to build 6600 new homes on 1250 acres of the Oak Ridges Moraine, in Richmond Hill.
Dalton McGuinty, of the Liberal Party, was elected the Premier of Ontario in October of 2003. Many say the only reason he won was because he promised that he would stop the 6600 houses from being built! He even stated, "We sent a very clear signal, it's been out there for a very long time now — we're committed to putting genuine protections to the Oak Ridges Moraine, and we've said we're not going to allow the construction of those 6600 homes." But, he only managed to stop 900 houses. As you read this, the other 5700 homes are being built, and the Moraine is becoming smaller and smaller and smaller...
WHAT THE LIBERALS THINK
It is not all our fault. You should also take into concideration that Mike Harris (former Premier of Ontario) of the Progressive Conservative Party (also known as the Tories) was the one who allowed the developers to build on the Moraine, in the first place! Also, Ernie Eves (another former Premier of Ontario, from the Tories) didn't do much for the Moraine either. We, The Liberals, are the only political party in Canada who actually took the initiative to do something for the Moraine!
Stopping the houses from being build could cost 1 million dollars, because Mike Harris and the Progressive Conservatives already agreed with the developers.
We did the best we could to save the Moraine. We managed to stop 900 houses from being built, which would have covered a large area of the Moraine. As for the land which will be built on, there will be many building restrictions, so parts of the Moraine will still be preserved. All the houses will be designed to save as much energy and water as possible.
The developers have kindly donated 3.5 million dollars to the Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation. We are putting this money towards restoring parts of the Moraine. We have also made sure that 2400 square km. of especially sensitive land, would be protected from builders. It is called the Horseshoe Valley Greenbelt. Right now, we are planting new forests near Niagara Falls and Lake Scugog.
WHAT THE GENERAL PUBLIC THINKS
The Oak Ridges Moraine must be protected! Our water is at risk here! If the rate at which the Moraine is becoming urban land, stays the same as it is now, the whole Moraine will be gone very soon. Without the Moraine, what will filter our water? Sure, the water could get filtered at a plant, but nothing is better than naturally filtered water!
Yes, some houses should be built on the Moraine, because this is an area with a very high economy. But, we can't get to carried away with the building. Most of the Moraine should be left alone to filter our water.
This piece of land is a place where we can enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer. We should at least let some parts of it live.
WHAT THE VOTERS THINK
The only reason we voted for Dalton McGuinty and the Liberal Party was because they promised to stop the houses from being built, no matter what! Unfortunitly, they broke their promise. They only stopped 900 houses from being built, which is only about 7%! That is not enough! This land naturally filters the water that we all drink. Nobody can live without water! Dalton McGuinty should be in control of what happens in Ontario. But, he is letting the developers take control of him.
WHAT THE ENVIRONMENTALISTS THINK
This is horrible! We need that Moraine land! The developers will be forcing millions of mammals, fish, birds, amphibians, and insects out of their natural homes. They will also be killing thousands of trees and plants. These plants give us the oxygen we live off of! Once the developers clear and pave over the land, there is no going back! Our water will not be as clean, we will have less oxygen to breathe, many animal and plant species will have died, and the list goes on. "It's a death of a thousand cuts," said Glenn DeBaeremaeker, an environmentalist part of the Save the Rouge Valley Coalition. Mr. Matlow, an environmentalist from Earthroots quotes, "It's incredibly disappointing. I just hope something good can come from this."
WHAT THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVES (TORIES) THINK
We do know how important the Oak Ridges Moraine is. But, you must understand that it covers a vast area, land which could be put towards so much more! Ontario is growing faster than ever, which means people need more houses. If we didn't build on the Moraine at all, there certainly wouldn't be enough homes for all of us. We would have to build farther from where all the other residential areas are, which would make life harder for the people living in these far homes. Is it fair that you get nice, clean drinking water, while others are living on the outskirts of town?
Even though Ontario is a great province, there are still many unemployed people. By building more homes, there will be more jobs availble, such as engineers, construction workers, archatects, interior designers, etc. These jobs will make our economy much stronger and healthier! Our economy is what shapes our future.
WHAT THE DEVELOPERS THINK
First of all, the Oak Ridges Moraine is way over rated! We know it filters water, and a lot of animals live there, but that's about it. Since the Moraine is so large, there will always be more plants and animals, and there will always be more Moraine land. "My 100 hectares won't change anything."
The Oak Ridges Moraine just happens to cut through York Region, which is growing faster than ever! This means more people are going to need more houses! A nice warm shelter is vital for each adn every one of us. Besides, we donated 3.5 million dollars to the Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation. There, you happy now?
Anyways, we were very angry that 900 of our houses couldn't be built, thanks to Dalton McGuinty and the Liberals. We could have made a lot of money from those houses. We got permission to build from Mike Harris, so Premier Dalton McGuinty had no right to stop us! Sure, he became the Premier of Ontario, but we had already started development. We already purchased many of the building materials for those 900 houses, so what do we do with them now? It was all just a waste of money. Some of those homes were pre-purchased, and paid for. We have already spent the money on materials, so what do we do now? There's no way we're going to pay the buyers back!
I guess we should be thankful that we are still building the other 5700 houses. If Dalton McGuinty stopped us from building those, we would have been in really big trouble!
WHAT THE BUYERS OF THE HOUSES THINK
Some of us have purchased a house from the 5700 houses which are being built (thank goodness). The rest of us have purchased one of the 900 houses which aren't being built, thanks to the Liberals. So what do we do now? We want our money back! We paid for a house that we are not going to get! This is not fair at all!
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