Sep 25, 2023

By Jane Brown

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Ontario MPPs are heading back to the legislature Monday after a summer break that saw a whirlwind few weeks of developments in the Greenbelt scandal.

The Ontario Legislative Building (Queen’s Park) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Ontario Legislative Building Officially opened in 1893. This impressive Richardsonian Romanesque building is the meeting place of Ontario’s Legislative Assembly. (Photo by Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Premier Doug Ford announced last Thursday that he would reverse his decision to open the Greenbelt for housing development, after enduring nearly a year of public outcry over his plan.

He will have to start the process of returning those lands to protected status, while still forging ahead with his target of building 1.5 million homes by 2031, and with several cabinet ministers brand new to their portfolios.

NDP Leader Marit Stiles says there is a way to get this done.

“We need to built density, we need to work in partnership with municipalities to get that done quickly,” Stiles explained, “We need to built truly affordable housing and we also need to bring in measures to help people right now who are struggling, like real rent control which would help people deal with skyrocketing rent right across this province.”

The ripple effect of the Greenbelt scandal is widespread.

Two cabinet ministers and two Ford government senior staffers have resigned because of it.

And the RCMP is probing whether to launch a criminal investigation.

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