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May 9, 2001
Public sessions at Oak Ridges Moraine development hearing at Ontario Municipal Board (OMB)
  
Toronto Councillor David Miller, Chair of the City's Oak Ridges Moraine
Steering Committee, is calling on residents to speak at or attend public input
sessions at the OMB hearing into proposed development on the
ecologically-sensitive moraine. This hearing will decide whether an area of
wetlands, forests and agricultural fields will be replaced by sprawl-style
residential subdivisions.

The development would take place in an area containing numerous provincially
significant wetlands and the headwaters of major river systems including
Toronto's Don, Humber and Rouge Rivers. This raises concerns about potential
contamination of groundwater from street and yard runoff. In addition,
scientists have testified at the hearing that the proposed development would
also largely block a regional wildlife corridor across the top of Toronto.

Toronto City Council has recognized the importance of preserving this valuable
part of our natural heritage. The moraine crosses many regions and local
governments must take into consideration the total impact of any proposed
development. The province has also recognized the importance of the moraine and
needs to take more responsibility in protecting this critically important
eco-region.

The Ontario Municipal Board has set June 5, 6, and 7, 2001 as hearing dates for
the public to present concerns about building another 8,000 homes along this
sensitive area of the moraine along Yonge Street in Richmond Hill.

"This is the public's opportunity to speak directly to decision-makers about
development on the sensitive wildlife habitats of the Oak Ridges Moraine," said
Councillor David Miller. "It's important for as many people as possible to make
oral presentations about the dangers this development poses to the eco-health
of our community or concerned citizens can simply attend the hearing to
demonstrate their support."

Presentations of five minutes will be heard from 7 to 11 p.m. Tuesday, June 5,
Wednesday, June 6, and Thursday, June 7 at the Sheraton Parkway Hotel, 600
Highway 7 East in Richmond Hill (near the intersection of Highways 7 and 404 at
East Beaver Creek Road). Pre-registration is required by calling the Town of
Richmond Hill OMB public input line at 905-771-5476.

People wishing to testify longer than five minutes are required to register
prior to May 15. These presentations will be heard from 1 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday,
June 5 and Thursday, June 7.





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