Aug 09, 2023
By Jeremy Logan
On Wednesday, Ontario’s auditor general is slated to release the report of her investigation into the province’s contentious decision to open protected Greenbelt lands up to housing development.
Bonnie Lysyk launched a value-for-money probe back in January following a joint request from all three opposition leaders.
Media reports have suggested that some well-known developers who are Progressive Conservative donors purchased Greenbelt land in the past few years despite the province’s previous pronouncements it wouldn’t be developed.
According to investigations by the CBC, The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and the Narwhal, one purchase happened as recently as September 2022.
Housing Minister Steve Clark and Premier Doug Ford have both consistently denied tipping off developers ahead of the public announcement last year that the government would be removing land from 15 different areas of the protected Greenbelt while adding land elsewhere, so that 50,000 homes can be built.
Last month Ford said that the auditor general had exceeded the scope of her mandate by taking on the Greenbelt probe, but maintained that his government had nothing to hide.