Friday, December 4, 2009

Brant can Learn from Election Reform in Toronto

Election Reform Plan Not Enough

By Royson James, The Toronto Star, November 27 2009

Hallelujah! Corporate and union donations are just a step away from being banned from Toronto elections – and just in time for the anticipated titanic mayoral race of 2010. That means, if George Smitherman and John Tory want to spend $1 million each to solicit your vote for mayor, they must depend on individual donations of no more than $750 per person – not the influence-peddling contributions of corporations, which cumulatively can amount to tens of thousands.
Continue Reading:

Link to the cited article by Robert MacDermid:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

First Urban's Requests to the Official Plan for Cainsville and East of Brantford

Special Planning Meeting re Cainsville and East of Brantford

A Special Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting is being held at 7 pm on Mon. Dec. 7 to review First Urban's requests related to submissions to the Official Plan review.

The Official plan is being reviewed next Thursday, Dec. 10.

Council will also review a report related these requests by David Johnston, head of Corporate Development Services for the County. The meeting on Dec. 7 is the last chance to review First Urban's requests and comment on them before the Official Plan is presented. A Special Council meeting before 8 pm will follow the Special PAC on the same night.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Latest Draft of the Official Plan (OP) is Out

The Official Plan spells out land use planning goals and policies that will guide the development and redevelopment of the County, the protection and management of farmland, natural and cultural heritage resources, and what infrastructure the county will build. This plan in intended to guide development in Brant until 2031, but the plan will be reviewed every five years.

Anyone may attend the meeting and/or provide written or verbal input to support or oppose the proposed Official Plan. If you do not make a verbal submission at the Public Meeting or a written submission before the Official Plan is adopted, it makes it more difficult for you to appeal the OP at a later date.

There will be a public meeting to give input on the proposed Official Plan.on Dec. 10 in St. George at the South Dumfries Community Centre, Upstairs Hall, 7 Gaukel Dr.. The Open House from 2 - 5 p.m. will be in the same location. Council will vote on the OP early in January.

If you want to be notified of the adoption of the proposed OP, let Jayne Carman know at or write to her at County of Brant, 26 Park Ave., P.O. Box. 160, Burford, ON, N0E 1A0. Copies of the OP can be reviewed at the County Customer Service Offices in Paris, St. George, Burford, Oakland and Onondaga during normal business hours, at the County's Public Library Branches, and on the County website at Copies of the OP cost $65,00, C.D.s are $18,00. If you have any questions or wish to make a submission contact Wendy Young at 519-442-6324 X3003 or email

If you need any help to review the Official Plan or would like to borrow a hard copy or disc, please contact

Draft Official Plan:

Official Plan - October 2009, Final Draft - Text Only

****NOTE: There is a typo on page 4-5, 4.2.13 which will be corrected in the final text: Grand River N. will change to Grand River S.

Official Plan - October 2009, Final Draft - Maps

Contact Us:

Please forward Official Plan Review comments to:

David Johnston, Director Development Services
County of Brant
66 Grand River Street North,
Paris, Ontario N3L 2M2

Monday, August 24, 2009

Places to Sprawl

The Ontario Greenbelt Alliance has issued a report card on how municipalities are addressing sprawl in their official plans. See page 9 for the report on Brant County. [Download a copy]

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ontario's Greenbelt

For information on Ontario's Greenbelt please click here.

To visit the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance website click here.
To visit the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation website click here.

Learn about the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance's call to expand the greenbelt.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Brant County Official Plan

The County of Brant is currently working on finalizing the revised draft of the Official Plan.
More information and working draft maps can be found on the county website under Official Plan Review.

Draft Maps of Proposed Land Use Designations
County-wide Map of Designations
Map of Paris
Map of St. George
Map of Burford
Map of Cainsville
Map of Mt. Pleasant
Map of Tutela Heights
Map of Oakhill/Airport
Map of Oakland/Scotland
Map of Hamlets and Villages

Click here to view the draft Official Plan created in Jan. 2009. Please note that there have been several changes to this draft that are not currently available online.
Click here to view the former Official Plan created in 2000.
Appendices of the 2000 OP included maps of Natural Heritage and Soil Capability.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Democracy in Action

As citizens in Canada we have the responsibility to participate in the democratic system. There are a number of ways that you can choose to do this. One way is to communicate with elected officials whose job it is to represent your interests.

Based on where you live, determine who your elected official is. Click where you live on the map below and you find out who your elected official is.

City of Brantford

County of Brant

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cainsville Class EA for Wastewater Treatment

A sewage treatment has been proposed for the Cainsville Area. Very few residents realize this because the announcement was for a Wastewater Treatment Plant in East Brant. The sewage treatment plant is not required, unless there is a lot of development in Cainsville. There was an environmental assessment for this sewage treatment plant, but a more stringent individual environmental assessment for this project may not occur.

Click here to read the Report

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

News/Hotspots Severe Leapfrog Development Pressure in Brant County

Brant County looks like a donut with Brantford in the middle. It has the Paris-Galt Moraine in the north end and prime farmland throughout that is seriously threatened by development and must be protected. Brant County abuts the Greenbelt on its western edge. Policy makers predicted severe leapfrog pressure in this area when the Greenbelt was being formed and Ontario Ministry of Transportation officials admit that the farming community is scheduled for extreme growth pressure.

Brantford is surrounded by a provincially legislated no-build zone. This zone, created in 1979 serves as Brantford’s very own form of “greenbelt”. Developers now want to pave over portions of this greenbelt, and the farmland between the no-build zone eastward to the Hamilton boundary.

The city of Brantford, interested developers, some pro-development politicians and a truckers’ lobby are also pushing for a provincial highway to connect Highways 401 and 403 (officially titled the Brantford to Cambridge Transportation Corridor). This highway would cause severe leapfrog development and convert Brant County farmland into Mississauga type sprawl. This highway is opposed by groups such as the STOP 424, the Smart Coalition and Sustainable Brant.

Sustainable Brant is a grassroots group that grew out of Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario, a member of the Greenbelt Alliance. Sustainable Brant monitors development pressures and works to protect farmland. They also review creative initiatives that people are taking to protect farmland, such as creating conservation easements, and setting up land trusts and co-op farms. The group is planning a conference in the future to address leapfrog development pressure in hotspots outside of the Greenbelt. For more information, contact or 519-647-0040.

The Brant-Hamilton-Halton chapter of the National Farmers Union of Ontario is petitioning to “greenbelt” all of Southern Ontario. Sustainable Brant’s petition challenges the new rules for growing the Greenbelt - rules that leave the request up to the local municipality, and asks the provincial government to consider the requests of citizen groups and conservation authorities to grow the Greenbelt.

Sustainable Planning for Brant County

For Earth Week, we would like to share a plan that was prepared by Sustainable Brant as a submission to the Official Plan on consultation with residents throughout the county, over a two year period. The residents come from Paris, Glen Morris, Oakland, St. George, Burford, Scotland, Cainsville, Six Nations, Langford, Onondaga, Mt. Pleasant, South Dumfries, the Airport/Oakhill Settlement Area and Tutela Heights.

We treasure Brant’s agricultural roots, want to preserve its rural nature and communities, and want to protect the environment, while promoting a sustainable economy. Here is a summary of our ideas for the revision of Brant County’s Official Plan.

Protect Farmland: protect our local environment and farmland to ensure the health and quality of life of present and future generations. Include Brant County in the Greenbelt.

Protect our environment: Conserve energy and water, protect our watershedsand reduce our waste.

Protect our cultural heritage and community infrastructure in the towns and in the small farming communities, including schoolhouses and community halls.

Plan for a more sustainable and healthy local economy that builds upon our agricultural economy and natural areas.
• Learn from our past and Brantford’s history of brownfields and restrict development to “clean jobs” that do not pollute our air, water or soil.
• Plan for a post-carbon economy where we reduce our reliance on oil.
• Ensure that all new construction uses low-energy building techniques.
• Foster local and value-added economies where our dollars stay within the community and help other local businesses.
• Foster the development of more business and housing cooperatives to protect our county from the effects of the recession.

Make travel more sustainable.
• Plan sustainable transportation to move people and goods.
• No more new highways on farmland.
• Plan for more walkable communities.
• Promote teleworking, video conferencing and web conferencing, and public transport to reduce the use of cars.

Limit growth to preserve the nature of Brant County.
• Keep new development within the existing urban settlement area boundaries.
• Keep the existing provincially legislated “standstill”/no-build necklace around Brantford. This is our “greenbelt”.

Be fiscally responsible – spend within our means.
• Follow Guelph’s example and reduce the growth numbers.
• Do not privatize our infrastructure, no private-public-partnerships.

• Make county planning documents more accessible and readable.
• Do not restrict the public from making delegations to council.