About the Draft Official Plan for the Township of Havelock-Belmont-Methuen
www.thepeterboroughexaminer.com, October 10, 2012
I want to comment on the new Draft Official Plan for Havelock-Belmont-Methuen.
Over the years, we have more restrictions placed on us by governments. The more planning, the less freedom.
The word “hardship” is mentioned several times in the Draft Official Plan, indicating that some policies could cause hardship. Isn’t it logical to think that more rules will cause more hardship? If there is unemployment, huge household debt, heavy bills and taxes, we should not be creating additional burdens. More rules and fines on top of serious life problems could drive many out of their homes.
What I also see in the Draft Official Plan is more interference under the cloak of environmentalism. The term “endangered species” is not mentioned in the 2004 plan, but now this concept is placed on a pedestal. “Endangered” according to whom? And who decides it is more important than the landowner’s economic survival and property rights? It is just another arbitrary excuse for governments to interfere, along with many other excuses such as “Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest”. I know these laws come from higher levels of government, but why do we go along? This authoritarian scientific jargon is not compatible with rights and freedoms. It’s not anyone else’s business what we do with our property. Most environmental laws have almost nothing to do with human needs and values.
An example of this is telling people they can’t even place plastic or tires temporarily on their own property (2.1.27 of the Draft Official Plan). If that means what it says, can we even repair our cars?
Section 126.96.36.199 says, “Council will respect the environment and will follow the principle of sustainability … Council will place high priority on the protection of lands with significant environmental features….” So “sustainability”, whatever that means, is just an excuse to pile restrictions on us. Why is the “intensification” policy necessary in a rural area with plenty of space? Why is there even such a thing as “human settlement boundaries” and “designated growth centres”? This is a belief system of zero growth and austerity, of zero future. Why can’t the region grow and why can’t people build freely?
Section 1.2.5 says, “Sustainability. The policies of this Plan are founded on the premise that a sustainable community is composed of the following three principle elements in balance: a) The Environment:… b) The Economy:… c) The Socio-Cultural Fabric:…”. It sounds nice, but google “sustainability, environment, economy, society” and you see this mantra everywhere, spread by professional planners and tax-funded NGOs. Individual rights become subservient to “the environment”, “the economy”, and “the society”. These things have value, but individual rights should have a higher value.
“Sustainable Development” comes from United Nations Agenda 21. You can read it online at the UN website. It has been gradually implemented by governments and organized private groups, such as ICLEI, since it was signed in 1992. It’s about taking control over all resources, including humans, in a detailed centralized way. And this is why provincial governments of different stripes came up with policies like the Greenbelt Act and Smart Growth. Smart Growth is also the name of the same policy in California, and it is the same as the intensification policies in the Havelock Draft Official Plan.
So the Draft Official Plan is not a homegrown plan. The philosophy and formulas are predetermined even though “sustainability” groups all over the country like “Sustainable Peterborough” ask for public input. The ideas in it are part of an organized agenda to undermine individual rights. This is why our decision-making ability as individuals and families is being eroded, and we are being directed more and more about how to live, and what we can and can’t do.