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
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.