ONTARIO'S DECISION TO OPEN UP GREENBELT ''FAVOURED'' DEVELOPERS : AUDITOR-GENERAL
Aug 09, 2023
By Bob Komsic
A damning report on the Ford government’s decision to free up protected Greenbelt lands for housing.
”The process was biased, in favour of certain developers and landowners, who had timely access to the housing minister’s chief of staff,” says Auditor-General Bonnie Lysyk.
”Owners of the 15 land sites removed from the Greenbelt could ultimately see more than a collective $8.3-billion increase to the value of their properties.”
Lysyk says the process was indefensible, calling into question just who if anyone was supervising the non-elected chief of staff as he directed the ”Greenbelt Project Team” last October.
The A-G adds Housing Minister Steve Clark told her office that he was not aware of the ”specifics” of what his chief of staff was working on.
”In our view, the housing minister ought to have known the key details of such a high profile and politically sensitive government exercise and ensure that cabinet and the Premier were also made fully aware of these details.”
The NDP and Liberals are calling on Clark to resign, which it appears he won’t do.
”I’m fully committed to the problems in the process that led us here … I’m committed to ensuring that the 14 recommendations will move forward and will move forward quickly,” says Clark.
Meanwhile, Doug Ford says ‘the buck stops’ with him, adding the process should have been better.
”But when you’re in a housing crisis, when you have an inferno happening, the firefighters run to the fire, they don’t run away from it.