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Great Lakes Article:

Speed up 'brownfield' rezoning
The St. Catherine's Standard

Editorial - Weíre adding our voice to those Niagarans who told Industry Minister Lucienne Robillard that government red tape is stalling redevelopment of the regionís brownfield lands.

Niagara Region Chairman Peter Partington joined several of the regionís mayors, MPs and members of the Niagara Economic and Tourism Corp. in a round-table discussion with the minister at Welland City Hall Thursday.

Robillard told them the federal government was willing to co-operate with the communities and said $475 million has already been set aside for the remediation of government-owned brownfield sites across the country.

Thatís welcome news, as long as some of that money comes Niagaraís way. In St. Catharines, particularly, sites formerly zoned industrial will become crucial for development if this city is to expand without encroaching on adjacent tender fruit lands.

St. Catharines - and other communities across the region and the country - have to have a more streamlined process to restore and rezone these sites. As Niagara Centre MP Tony Tirabassi says, "Cleaning up these brownfields will prevent them from becoming black holes."

The mayors and representatives offered suggestions on how red tape can be cut and the process sped up. We hope the minister gives their ideas serious consideration.

This city is under pressure to expand, and procedural delays only make matters worse. If the federal government can speed up the process at its end, letís hope municipal governments can then act quickly and finish the job.

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