Aug 31, 2023

By Jane Brown

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Ontario’s premier is standing firm in his support of his embattled municipal affairs and housing minister.

Doug Ford told reporters in Etobicoke Thursday morning, Steve Clark will stay in his position, regardless of the conclusions of the integrity commissioner’s report.

And Premier Ford continued to skirt questions about why he would keep Steve Clark in his role when Clark’s ethics and violation of integrity rules have been called into question.

“I’m going to have confidence in Mr. Clark, I’m going to have confidence in my other ministers. We’re going to move forward with building homes, that’s it,” Ford replied.

Ford was asked about the incompetence and negligence shown by Minister Clark, in addition to Clark’s now resigned Chief of staff Ryan Amato, and the premier himself for opening up the Greenbelt after promising the people of Ontario he would never touch the Greenbelt.

“So where is that personal responsibility, premier, where is your leadership?” asked reporter Colin D’Mello.

“Thank you for that Colin, and I’m sure you just walked down the street from your home, but you have a home,” Ford jabbed back, “Do you know how many people don’t have a home, Colin? There’s hundreds of thousands of people and yes, in 2018 when we didn’t have a housing crisis. You know why we didn’t have a housing crisis, Colin? Because there was no jobs here, people weren’t coming here because the last government lost 300,000 jobs. There was no interest in coming to Ontario, but now, since we’ve been in office, we’ve created an environment and condition for people around the world to come to Ontario.”

When another reporter took an issue with Ford “attacking” reporters rather than answering the questions, the premier apologized to D’Melo if “I offended you.”

As for the integrity commissioner, J. David Wake now turns his attention to the conduct of Ryan Amato, who resigned last week, following the auditor general’s scathing report of his conduct into deciding which developers received access to the Greenbelt land that was being sold off.

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