Michael Honours Bill Davis – Speech in the House of CommonsMay 31, 2007
On May 22nd, the Honourable William Grenville Davis, Premier of Ontario from 1971 to 1985, received the Greenbelt Award, in recognition of his environmental vision in protecting the Niagara Escarpment.
The Niagara Escarpment is a unique 725 kilometer land form stretching from Niagara Falls to the Bruce Peninsula . Its wilderness and agricultural areas host a myriad of species, some endangered or rare. In recognition of its ecological significance, it was named a World Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations in 1990.
In 1973 Premier Davis and his Conservative government took the remarkable step of protecting the Niagara Escarpment from urban sprawl and development. It was ’s first environmental land-use document designed to protect natural heritage features and prime agricultural land.
Urban sprawl is a serious environmental challenge and it was Premier Davis’s first bold move to protect the Escarpment that allowed the Oak Ridges Moraine to be designated in 1996 and the Greenbelt to be created in 2005. This truly is a legacy for future generations.