Planning for Sustainability in the Haliburton Bioregions: Towards Incorporating Local Interests in Environmentally Sustainable Economic Development into Ontario Land-Use Legislation Reforms
Departments: Canadian Studies and Environmental Studies
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There is an interest in the Haliburton bioregions for environmentally sustainable economic development, particularly in regards to further tourist and cottage development. The mandate of the Commission on Planning and Development Reform in Ontario is providing an opportunity for these interests to be incorporated into land use-affecting provincial legislation. This discussion paper presents the Commission’s preliminary proposals regarding cottage country issues and some initial responses to these proposals by environmentalists and the Haliburton County Planner. It is concluded that the Commission is taking some bold steps towards incorporating the principle of ‘sustainability’ into the planning process, but that only more comprehensive changes, and even long-term value change, is likely to make the concept viable in the Haliburton bioregions. There are three sections of this report which are included for the sake of providing background information. Readers familiar with the state of the present planning process in Ontario, its problems and omissions, may want to pass over the sections entitled ‘The Legal Framework’, ‘The problem’, and ‘Principles of Sustainable Land-Use Planning’. This paper is a contribution towards the ‘bioregional’ literature of the Haliburton Highlands in that it seeks to present an understanding of how an ‘outside’ body of law that actually affects these natural and human communities can be improved to more closely meet the needs of the local bioregion; economic and environmental.