The goal of building strong sustainable communities applies strongly to our ultimate community anchor: our hospitals. Healthcare institutions are major employers. As patients, we use them when we are at our most vulnerable, so their location is a critical part of the planning process. We cannot afford to approve greenfield hospital infrastructure beyond established neighbourhoods.
Our communities are aging, and outside the GTA, Ontario's overall population growth is stagnant. For this reason, planning new infrastructure that will involve more car driving than currently is increasingly impractical, especially for those who are mobility impaired. It's also expensive, both financially and environmentally.
We need to redevelop brownfield properties, rather than paving over farmland, which is a finite natural resource and a major driver of agricultural GDP. Where this is already a policy goal today, it's too easy to circumvent through siloed "not my problem" thinking by those in charge. Another barrier is the cost of cleaning up contaminated industrial land, which ignores the cost to the community's health of being surrounded by abandoned industrial land that nobody wants to take responsibility for.