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Municipal Leaders for the Greenbelt evolved out of the network founded by City Councillors Glenn De Baeremaeker (Toronto), Erin Shapero (Markham) and Allan Elgar (Oakville).
At the time all three were elected on anti-sprawl platforms to municipal councils, with particular interest in protecting Ontario’s remaining natural heritage and preserving farmland and agricultural communities.
Ajax Mayor Steve Parish joined as a fourth co-Chair of the group. After Steve joined, the four co-Chairs strongly advocated for the creation of a large and robust Greenbelt.
Their leadership along with others in the environmental community culminated in the creation of Ontario’s Greenbelt by the Province of Ontario. It was and still is the largest Greenbelt in the world spanning 1.8 million acres from Cobourg to Niagara and north to include the Niagara Escarpment, Oak Ridges Moraine and Protected Countryside.
Co-Chair and Oakville Mayor Rob Burton was added to the group when Councillor Allan Elgar stepped aside.
Guelph Mayor Karen Farbridge was added as a co-Chair when Councillor Erin Shapero retired from politics.
The co-Chairs’ ideas soon caught the interest of other municipal officials wanting to join the group. As the group grew, it became a source of information exchange, networking and sharing best practice across the Greenbelt and Places to Grow areas.
Today, the vision to support a strong protected greenbelt has evolved into advancing efforts to create the low carbon, livable, resilient and competitive communities Ontarians desire. Take the Pledge to honour our history and help us continue building your future.