They recently bought Greenbelt land that was undevelopable. Now the Ford government is poised to remove protections — and these developers stand to profit.
This is what happens when communities stand up for themselves.
The long-controversial project, near the city of Kitchener-Waterloo, is part of a larger pipeline development in the area that includes a new underground gas compressor station — a high-profile symbol of the provincial government’s aggressive development policy.
Under the provincial government’s latest budget, the provincial government is ready to spend $500 million more on projects like the Greenbelt gas pipeline that threatens thousands of Indigenous lands.
This is the real crisis at hand.
The problem, which is actually much bigger than we might at first suspect, is that these companies have already purchased the land from which they are being built. And they are now in a position to build their infrastructure there.
The $500 million that the province has just allocated to Greenbelt is essentially a one-time payment because we now have a situation where they paid to have this land, which was then put up for sale, so that they could build a gas pipeline across it.
But what this has done is create a situation where all sorts of people can now profit from this.
In a very short time, Indigenous communities and all of their partners, like the University of Waterloo, have had the opportunity to begin building on this land.
In fact, this is the first time that a province has spent this much money on a piece of land that’s not owned by a single person.
In fact, this is the first time that a province has ever put this much money on this piece of land.
And for whatever reason, Ford decided to do it.
In my view, there’s no question about it, that Ford has made a decision that’s very much against what many Indigenous communities or Indigenous law has allowed them to do.
And, unfortunately, he’s got the backing of Premier Doug Ford, so it’s going to come to fruition.