After an hour on his feet Premier Ford left the podium knowing that his 'we are going to build homes' message was never in doubt

By Pepper Parr

September 6th, 2023



The Premier started his hour long media event sating: “They’re the right team to get it done” and went on to congratulate, at length, all the people who had been brought into his Cabinet or given new roles as Cabinet members.

He couldn’t say enough about them.

Premier Doug Ford on his feet for more than an hour with close to 1000 people listening to the web cast.

I want to congratulate ministers taking on new portfolios and welcome members of caucus who are new to the cabinet table. As Minister of long term care Minister Paul Calandra has been hard at work for residents and their families. Under his leadership, shovels are in the ground to build new long term care homes across Ontario, with new homes for over 10,000 seniors currently under construction. Ontario is on track to be the first province in Canada to deliver an average of four hours of resident care per day as we bring on 1000s of new nurses and personal support workers. For the first time, we’re bringing diagnostic services to residents rather than disrupting and moving them to appointments.

Its clear Minister Calandra has a proven record of delivering on tough assignments. He has a proven record of getting it done. He’s going to bring this same get it done approach to Municipal Affairs and Housing as he takes on the housing supply crisis, the biggest challenge facing governments in Canada.

Caroline Mulroney: President of the Treasury Board;

I also want to congratulate Caroline Mulroney, as President of the Treasury Board, where she’ll apply her years of work in the private sector and financial markets to her new jobs standing up for Ontario taxpayers. It’s incredibly important role and one of the most important in government and there’s no better suited person than Minister Mulroney

Congratulations to Prabmeet Sarkaria as Minister of Transportation who will continue Caroline’s great work and who knows firsthand from his constituents, the importance of building highway 413 alongside the Bradford bypass.

Congratulations to Stan Cho, who has done amazing work as an Associate Minister and will continue the work of supporting long term care home residents and their families. By building 1000s of new homes for our seniors.

He congratulated Rob Flack, Todd McCarthy and Nina Tangri, who are taking on important new roles associate ministers to build attainable homes modular homes, build transit, and support small businesses.

Steve Clark: “want to thank him for being such an important part of our team.”

I also want to give my gratitude to Steve Clark for his years of service and cabinet. I’ve always had so much respect for Steve, his dedication to his community and his unwavering belief in Ontario. His decision to step away couldn’t have been easy, but it only demonstrates his integrity, his maturity and his commitment to our province. For that I want to thank him for being such an important part of our team.

As I’ve said since day one of receiving the auditor general’s report, and as I’ve said again, after the integrity commissioners report, the process we use to make changes to the Greenbelt could have been better, the process should have been better. It’s why we agreed to implement all 14 recommendations from the Auditor General to improve our processes. At the same time have also said that nothing matters more than building homes. You’ve heard me say it before, Ontario is growing at a breakneck speed.

Last year alone we added 500,000 more people. And as we grow, we need to build at least 1.5 million new homes or the dream of homeownership for newcomers and young families in particular will slip further away. Our government will never stop working to build homes for our growing province. As we do. We’ll also do what’s needed to ensure that the people of Ontario that people will never stop serving, have confidence in the decisions we’re making.

When the previous government introduced the Greenbelt, they put in legislation, that mandated the province review it at least every 10 years.
I’ve asked my new Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to launch this review. And as part of this process, reevaluate the remaining land swap sites. These sites will have to survive on their own merit. Last week, when we started the process of putting the Ajax lands back into the Greenbelt, we made it very clear. We have no tolerance for anyone who does anything that doesn’t support building homes quickly.

Minister Calandra will spend the coming days and weeks working with his officials to design and launch this review. It’ll be informed by recommendations put forward by the auditor general as ministry officials design and launch this review the government’s nonpartisan non political facilitator will continue her work (the facilitator was not named) with the remaining landowners and home builders. In fact, her work to ensure the landowners pay for important community infrastructure like parks, community centers, schools and hospitals will be an important part of this review.

Newcomers are struggling to find a place to live, young families not able to buy their starter home. That’s who we’re working for. That’s who will never stop working for.

Questions from reporters followed.

Rob Ferguson, Toronto Star. So this reevaluation and review of the Greenbelt lands will be a full and proper process? Well, what role will the housing Minister’s Chief of Staff play? What role will the bureaucrats play? What role will other land use planning experts play? And how will it be different from what just happened?

Premier: Well, we’re gonna go through the government, deputy ministers and government officials to review all lands. The mandate back in 2005was to review every 10 years. We’re following the recommendations of the Auditor General and we’ll continue to follow the recommendations – there’s going to be a complete review from top to bottom and then they’re gonna have to stand on their own merit. And it’s not just the 14 lands, it’s going to be the seven or 800 lands right across the board.

Reporter: Did you know that Steve Clark was going to resign yesterday morning or were you taken by surprise when it appeared on Twitter?

Ford: “No, Steve Clark called me. It shows the integrity, and the maturity of Steve Clark. He thought it’d be best for the government and for his family and his constituents that he step aside.

Laura Stone, Globe and Mail. I just want to be absolutely clear here. Are you pausing all development or assessment for development on these lands that you have removed? What are you doing? Are you not going ahead with your plan to develop on the ground?

Premier: The provincial facilitator will continue working with the landowners and the builders to move forward but it’s going to be based on the merits – they’re going to review the whole process, not just the 14 lands, the seven or 800 applications.

And they’ll be able to sit down and talk to stakeholders be indigenous communities, people that need homes. We’ll be talking to communities, and we’ll do a complete review.

Reporter: So is it possible that you would open up other lands for development as part of this review?

Premier: Well, first of all, we’re gonna see what the review says at the end of the review, and we’ll analyze it that will be up to the Minister to make that decision.

Colin Global News. I wanted to ask you about the mandate letter that you gave to Steve Clark in 2022. It specifically asked him to open up lands in the Greenbelt. Did he have the power to say no to that mandate letter?

Premier: Every minister has the opportunity to sit down with myself. I’m pretty accessible. I’m probably the most accessible premier that’s ever existed. I take calls from my MPPs, I take calls from my ministers. I take calls from mayors right across this province and I listen to their concerns. We have a great working relationship with 444 mayors and wardens across this province. I’m in constant communication with them, not just about building homes, even though that’s the number one issue.

Reporter: I wanted to ask about the relationship between the government and the owners of those 15 parcels of land. Did your government enter into any legally binding contracts with those owners to stipulate that they would have to build X amount of housing on that land? Was there a contract between the Ontario government and the owners or is it just a handshake?

Premier: That’s going to be up to the facilitator to make sure that these lands include community centers, hospitals, long term care parks, and that’s something that we wouldn’t be able to do. If a builder down the street for instance, decides to build. We don’t go up and say you got to build this you got to build that. We rely on the municipalities to build homes, to make sure that they get the permits out in a timely fashion.

We’ve given them every single tool possible to make sure makes their life easier to get homes built. And that’s what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna make sure that we build those 1.5 million homes for people.

We’re going to go across the country to make sure that if there are modular home builders I want to bring them into Ontario.

Blaine Higgs, the premier of New Brunswick, that told me that they have for companies that build modular homes in New Brunswick, and after we exhaust all other avenues, we’re gonna go to the US and encourage them to open up their plants in Ontario to build modular homes.

Reporter, Trillium news Minister Clarke resigned for not keeping a close enough eye on his staff and letting this whole process get out of hand but your mandate letter told Minister Clark to come up with, and I’m quoting, “processes for swaps, expansions, contractions and policy updates for the Green Belt and to finish it all by fall 2022.”

Did you or anyone in your office communicate with Clark’s office along the way ? So are you not guilty of the same thing that Minister Clark resigned over?

Premier: I have confidence and our ministers. I don’t believe in micromanaging ministers that have confidence in our ministers and to follow the process. You know, Minister Clark came out admitted the process wasn’t, there. It could have been better. I came out and said the process wasn’t there.

We’ve taken 14 recommendations from the Auditor General. We’re moving as we speak on those 14 recommendations. And we’re gonna do a complete review of all lands in the Greenbelt, as it was mandated by the previous government.

We’re going to make sure that we review every single aspect of making sure that we follow the process.

But the most important thing is the people that are hurting out there that can afford a home on top of the interest rates that we’re seeing 10 hikes from the Bank of Canada in 18 months. You know, I pleaded with the Bank of Canada, the governor, go out there, talk to the average person like I do,meet the people that are struggling. People that can’t afford a mortgage, because the rate hikes, not just the hikes, but the speed that it did it at 10 hikes I can’t remember in living memory that the Bank of Canada or the governor raised rates 10 times in 18 months. If we don’t see a stop, people will lose their homes. They’re struggling, mortgages have doubled.

The federal government which is separate from the Bank of Canada should be investing in infrastructure like the 413 to get goods from point A to point B in a more efficient manner to make sure people can get home a lot quicker than rather than being stuck on the highway the 401 or stuck on the 400.

That’s the reason we’re investing over $30 billion unprecedented in building highways be at 413. The Bradford bypass high widening highway three expanding highway seven building highway seven from Kitchener all the way to Guelph, our province is growing like we’ve never seen. We’re the fastest growing region in North America, bar none. We have to make sure that we build the infrastructure. We’re building $70 billion of transit; the largest transit expansion in North America. There’s no one that comes close to that. We already have shovels in the ground on the Ontario line. That’s unprecedented at the speed that we’re moving. I can’t remember the last time any government is building subways and tunneling at the speed we’re doing. And we’re going to continue pouring money into infrastructure.

We’ve invested over $184 billion in infrastructure that includes $50 billion building 50 new hospitals and additions to those hospitals never been done before. That’s what we’re focusing on.

Reporter: I’d like to ask about the ongoing work of the facilitator integrity commission report said you guys have eight agreements in principle with the landowners. If these are still going forward. Will you commit to publicly releasing these agreements once they’re finalized?

Premier: Once they’re finalized, we’ll release them. We’re going to show how these builders these landowners are going to spend billions of dollars in supporting the community that they’re building. They’re going to be building parks, community centers; they’re going to be building hospitals and long term care.

The nonpartisan facilitator will be working hand in hand but we’ll also be reviewing all other applications right across the Greenbelt, like the previous government mandated, it should be reviewed every 10 years.

McIntosh from the Narwhal. So the housing affordability Task Force found that cutting into the Greenbelt isn’t necessary that Ontario already has enough land. But it did make 55 other recommendations, your government’s only finished three of them. Why not do that, instead of opening up Greenbelt land or reinstate rent control on newer buildings to improve affordability?

Premier: Thank you for that question. They did have so many recommendations. We’re going through 30 of them already. We’re going to follow up on the other 40 We’re working as we speak right now, but in saying that, even the person that headed the review would admit right now, when they did that review, they didn’t expect a half a million people show up to our doors.

And I always say that’s a conservative estimate. I believe it’s closer to 800,000. As a CIBC report came out saying we need to continue building homes right now with the volume that we’re seeing. And over the next 10 years at minimum, there’ll be five to six million people coming to our province. We do not have enough lands to be able to build enough homes for over five to six million people. Our number one goal for the people of Ontario, is to make sure they have affordable homes, have modular homes that they are going to be able to live in. I call them starter homes. They’re going to be basic homes, and they’re going to be affordable and attainable homes of under $500,000. They’ll be able to walk in through their front door, put the key in, they’re going to have a backyard. They’re going to have a finished basement that they can use as a rental unit. That’s what we’re going to focus on. But it’s not about just modular homes. It’s about building a community having more rentals that people can afford. We had more rental starts than we’ve seen in decades. We’re doing the right thing for the people that can’t afford our homes right now. We’re gonna fight for the hard working blue collar people that are getting killed right now by the interest rates from the Bank of Canada.

We’re gonna stand on their side. We’re going to make sure it comes down to supply and demand that we all know that’s out there. Right now. We’re gonna flood the market with new homes right across this province

Reporter: premier when it comes to Greenbelt land doing this review the reports from the Integrity Commissioner and the Auditor General found that you know, you and minister Clark were not in control of what the government was doing as you undertake this new review. How can Ontarians trust that you are in control now?

Premier: Well, let me first answer the first question that I’ll get to the second question about trust. We’re going to work with our government officials where we’ve already admitted numerous times and I’ve said it today, I’ll say it again – I wasn’t happy with the process. We’re correcting the process and the 14 recommendations. Now let me tell you about trust and why the people can trust this government. You know, results speak for themselves. Folks. When we took office back in 2018 we inherited a bankrupt company. We had a healthcare system that was totally broken. Move forward to 2023 we’ve added over 3000 beds we’re adding another 3200 beds. We’ve hired and registered 60,000 new nurses 8000 new doctors registered last year alone 15,000 nurses which was a record registered here in Ontario, as I mentioned earlier we’re the only government that’s putting $50 billion no matter where you live in Ontario. You’re either getting a brand new hospital, or you’re getting in addition to a hospital. The previous government stopped talking to the Ontario Medical Association We have a great relationship but they all may. We’re in constant communication with the Ontario Hospital Association and the CEOs.

We’re making sure that when you go get a prescription, you don’t have to go to your doctor to get the most common prescriptions. You can go into a pharmacy and get them and we’re going to expand on that. We’re making sure that we’re giving people opportunities on diagnostics, that we’re gonna have convenient care closer to home. We’re changing the education system for parents. We’re making sure through the great leadership of Minister Lecce that we’re investing right now. $500 million building 100 new schools and that’s going to continue.

Over $700 million more is being spent on hiring educators. We’ve hired you know, 1000s and 1000s of new educators over 8000 this year alone. We are going to hire an additional 2000 educators.

We have three credit agencies that have given us a positive report for the first time in decades. Folks, when I took office, companies were leaving the province in droves – 300,000 families lost their jobs. They couldn’t get hired because companies were leaving in the droves. General Motors Oshawa closed their plant and left. The other ones are ready to leave. But we came in and we changed the system.

We took $8 billion of burden off the backs of companies to invest back here in Ontario. Since then $25 billion of investments in the automotive sector, in the EV sector has been invested in Ontario because they have confidence in our government. We’ll see probably in the next year $3 billion in life sciences, no matter if it’s Moderna or if it’s AstraZeneca, or any of the other pharmaceutical companies Roche investing here and creating more jobs.

The tech sector has grown to overtake Silicon Valley, San Francisco Bay Area. We now employ more people than anywhere in North America. We’re leading North America in job creation and economic development compared to back in 2018. As I mentioned, we’re spending $184 billion previous governments totally ignored it. We’re building for subway lines we’re spending over $70 billion in transit expanding GO train service. We’re just expanding $30 billion, the highways and roads and bridges. And when it comes to long term care, the previous government and their whole mandate of 15 years built about 600 homes for long term care. We’re going to build 30,000 homes that seniors can call home that we’re renovating long term care homes right across the board.
We we’ve graduated over 65,000 STEM graduates we’ve given the support to the colleges and universities that we have the best in the entire world. That’s just a few of the things. Our track record speaks for itself. That’s the reason the people of Ontario can trust our government.

Reporter: Alan Hale from Queen’s Park Today. So just to be clear, you’re saying that this is not a backtrack of any kind you’re not giving into demands for a revisit of the Greenbelt. This is a review that you would have been doing anyway.

Premier: We’re going to review the whole system including the 14 properties.

We’re going to review all the properties; we’re going to acknowledge the process wasn’t up to snuff by any means. We’re going to make sure that all properties are reviewed to make sure they stand on their merit, and that’s what we’re going to look at.

Reporter: You talk about how you don’t want to micromanage your ministers, but given the fact that you have had one minister give himself and many of your caucus and some other party loyalists,the title of King’s Council without you apparently knowing and now you’ve let another minister sleepwalk you into a scandal where it looks to many people like a corrupt deal has happened and maybe is it time for you to maybe check in a bit more with what your ministers are doing and read documents before they come to cabinet.

Premier: Well, thank you for that question. First of all King’s Counsel; people don’t care. I’m gonna be very frank about having KC beside their name that’s really in the legal sector.

We’re gonna make sure at the end of the day, we have the best interest of the people at heart. That’s the reason folks were building these homes.

We see a crisis; the other party’s, the Greens, the NDP and the Liberals put us in an absolute disastrous position in 2018. When I took office, we’re fixing everything that was broken. They don’t have a solution. All they do is get up and complain and criticize. Ask them what is your solution? We have a solution. We have a plan. The plan is working. The plan is working in healthcare. The plan is working long term care and transportation infrastructure, education, colleges and universities and I can go on and on and on. We’ve corrected the problems of the previous government of 15 years that destroyed this province. No one in the world wanted to invest in Ontario.

I work hand in hand with everyone.  I have a message at the Bank of Canada. You want to destroy people’s lives. You want to watch people go bankrupt and lose their homes. Just raise the interest rates. It’s going to be on your hands. We don’t need any more interest rates being raised what we need is infrastructure money to build highways. That’s what we need.

Reporter: Richard Southern. You said today that Ontarians can trust you but you’ve never told Ontarians exactly what you weren’t happy about with this process for three weeks. You’ve just said I’m not happy with the process. In your own words today. Can you tell us what went wrong here?

Premier: Well, there was 14 recommendations and I said we’re going to follow those 14 recommendations. You know, it was very clear with the auditor general’s report, the integrity commissioners report which I have a great deal of respect for the Integrity Commissioner, that these are the recommendations that they’re putting forward. You know, we realize it – we admit our mistakes. I’ve come out here with apologize.

We’re moving forward. But nothing is more important than building homes. And we have a record of getting it done. As sure as I’m standing here, folks, there’s going to be people that are going to be able to afford a home and attainable home. There’s going to be more rentals than there’s ever been. That’s our responsibility to make sure that we give the tools to the mayors and the wardens and councils all across this province. Get the tools to build homes. There’s no more important issue to the people of Ontario right now. There’s no more important issue for our government than to build homes. That people can afford at a reasonable interest rate.

Reporter: I didn’t get an answer there premier but I want to ask you about your new cabinet. Is shuffling Miss Mulroney out of transportation. Is that an acknowledgement about some failings on the Eglington Crosstown and are we any closer to finding out when the Crosstown is going to open?

Portions of the elevated part of the new subway line

The Crosstown had time line problems – has yet to be completed.

Premier: I’ll answer that in two parts. First of all, let’s talk about the Crosstown: GO CEO Phil Verster will be out frequently giving the people of Ontario an update. And as for Minister Mulroney. I think her record speaks for itself. You know something I’ve had the opportunity to know Minister Mulroney for the last five years. And make no mistake about it. She’s a brilliant person. She’s worked in the private sector. She’s worked in the financial sectors. And again, her record speaks for itself. Before we took office. There was no plans ever to build subways, under her watch under her leadership there’s four lines being built. There’s expansion and GP train services across our province to the tune of $70 billion. The reason that people in southwestern Ontario are getting highway three widen is because of Minister Mulroney’s leadership, the reason that we’re building the Bradford bypass that’s Minister Mulroney, the reason we’re doing 413 is Minister Mulroney. The reason we’re building highway seven that governments have talked about for years from Kitchener to Guelph is because Minister Mulroney She’s done an incredible job in transportation portfolio. She’s going to do an incredible job watching every single penny for the taxpayers of this province.

Reporter: Shavon Morris, CTV News. You said that lands will have to pass on their own merits. Can you explain what that means exactly given what we saw in the auditor general’s report and the integrity commissioners report that lands were removed from the Greenbelt that didn’t pass the kind of basics, first servicing and then speed of development.

Premier: First of all, I want to re emphasize the Greenbelt has expanded, it has not shrunk. There’s 2000 more acres in the Greenbelt that didn’t exist before. And as for the merit, we’re putting together a process, a process through government officials that we’re going to make sure that the T’s are crossed and the I’s are dotted. We’re gonna make sure that there’s merit to every application that comes forward. But in saying that again nothing is more important than building homes for the people of Ontario.

Reporter: There are lots of pictures online now of you and former Clarington Mayor John Mutton, can you shed any kind of light as to what role he might have had in having lands removed from the Greenbelt?

Premier: Well, this is a message to anyone any other see work that people do. If you don’t follow the rules, then you’re going to be held accountable and I encouraged the Integrity Commissioner to hold people accountable who don’t follow the rules.

Folks, I meet with 1000s and 1000s 10s of 1000s of people every single year in every sector, no matter if it’s the health care sector, manufacturing sector. You know, making sure that we’re building homes and endless amounts of sectors. I meet with a common folks do you know what I do? I want to find out what the people are doing. I don’t go in with anyone I don’t go in with my detail or anything. I can wander the local Walmart’s, the Home Depot’s – I go into the Sobeys and the Loblaws and the metros to talk to people. I go into the Canadian Tires. That’s where you get how people are feeling. You don’t sit here in a bubble. You don’t not give your phone number out. I talk to 1000s and 1000s of people. I hear what’s going on. I talked to endless people on the weekends by going out into public and hearing what they have to say. And let me tell you something. I’ll tell you what the priorities are. Number one priority is home ownership. Affordability, affordability, when you go to the gas pumps.

I want to work with the federal government when we build these homes to eliminate the HST well the GST on their behalf and we’ll do the same to make it more affordable. We want to make sure that when they go to a municipality on development fees, they don’t get charged $130,000 to put shovels in the ground.

Reporter: Allison Jones with the Canadian Press. How long do you expect this review will take if every Greenbelt parcel is going to be part of it?

Premier announced that not only are the sites taken out of the Greenbelt going to be reviewed – everything is going to be reviewed.


Premier: Well, I’ve said it very clear, if we don’t see movement on the parcels that we see that will be under review that will have to stand on merit. Then they’re going back into the Greenbelt. I did it with the Ajax lands.

They’re going back and just a message to the 14 owners of this property. If I don’t see movement, you’re going back into the Greenbelt.

This isn’t about the builders. I don’t give two hoots about the builders, but they’re part of the process. Eliminate them. We don’t have homes. So we’re going to make sure that they follow the process that the facilitator is putting out, making sure that they’re investing billions of dollars. There won’t be a penny spent of government money when they put in the roads when they put in the water pipes and the sewer pipes. That’s going to be on them. All I want are more homes for the people. We have a crisis. You come up to Rexdale there’s 160 People living up at the mall. They’re newcomers, asylum seekers and a message to the Government of Canada. This is an emergency. You have to get these people working permits. They want a better life in Ontario, but they can’t be sitting in some mall living there without being able to have a shower.

It’s about the young people that are graduating of a university that are going to get a job that can’t afford a home. They’re gonna be living in their parents basement for the next 10 years. If we don’t build more homes, that’s what I care about. I don’t care about anything else. I care about the people. That’s why I got elected. And we’re going to continue focusing on what matters to the people.

Reporter: I just want to be clear on the timeline. So development is going to continue on these 14 parcels, while a review is underway to determine if they should in fact have been taken out of the Greenbelt based on merit.

Premier: The facilitator is going to be working, as she is right now, making sure that they have a responsibility to pay for the roads and the sewers, the community centers, the school’s the hospitals and long term care homes. And it’s going to be based on merit and all the other applications are right now.

There’s about seven or 800 applications, folks, there’s nowhere in the entire world outside of I don’t know, I guess Communist China and North Korea that a government comes in with no consultation and takes two million acres of privately held property off people. We’re going to review it.

Nothing should get in the way of building homes. As fast as we can. That’s what matters. A year down the road, folks, you’re going to see homes being built at an unprecedented rate. We’re going to make sure that there’s supply to meet the demands of over 500,000 new people that want to go out there and rent a condo or apartment or even better buy a condo or apartment, buy an affordable starter home. That’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to exhaust every single avenue we’re gonna use every single tool we have in our toolbox to make sure that happens. The worst thing we can do folks, is sit back, throw up the white flag and say we aren’t doing it. That’s not what I’m about. That’s not what our governments about. Our government is about working for the hard working blue collar folks. That I meet in factories every single week that I meet in the malls that I meet in the stores that I go into.

Reporter: Lorenda Redekop, CBC News. You praise Minister Clark’s integrity and his resignation but this wasn’t something you called for. You also didn’t call for his former Chief of Staff’s resignation. You stood behind both of them. What does this mean when it comes to your integrity?

Former Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing: Steve Clark

Premier: Something I believe strongly in is the work that Minister Clark has done from the day he got elected. When I talk about integrity, he could have sat back and said: Premier,I want to continue being the minister. I want to continue, even if you move me to another portfolio, but he didn’t. He took the best interest of the people of Ontario at heart. He took the best interest of our party at heart and said it’s time for me to step aside and let someone else move forward with this. We have one of the best people in our caucus Minister Calandra that has a proven record in anything he has done to make sure that he builds homes. We have great associate ministers with Rob Flack one of the brightest business minds that we have down here at Queen’s Park will be his Associate Minister.

Our environmental assessment is second to none in the world. There’s no reason in the world that the federal government should slap another environmental assessment to purposely slow down the build of the 413.We were elected to build the Bradford bypass and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

Last question. Charlie Pinkerton: Who is paying for the legal fees for yourself and others in the government in the various investigations that have taken place and continue to take place and excuse me into the Greenbelt.

Premier Well, I can’t speak for anyone else. Right now. I don’t have a lawyer. So I’m just going to sit down when someone has a question. I’m going to answer it truthfully, just the same as when I sat down when the Auditor General I answered it truthfully.

I never hide from the media. I don’t run away for weeks and avoid the media. I’m out here addressing the media’s questions, tough, tough questions. But I’m always going to be transparent with the people.

Reporter: Yeah, back to the point. So do I gather correctly that you aren’t aware of whether it’s the government or the PC party or anyone else who’s paying the legal fees for everyone under investigation the government or is there an answer to that question again?

Premier: That’s up to the people if they get a lawyer. I’m not at liberty to discuss their private finances. We’re going to make sure that we cooperate with any investigation moving forward. We agreed the process wasn’t up to par but we also agree we’re gonna fix the process. We’re doing that right now as we speak – make no mistake about it. This is not going to deter me from building homes for the people that need homes. Talk to people about food prices going up and gas prices going up and how they can’t afford homes and another message to the Bank of Canada. Enough is enough. You’re trying to kill the economy. You personally are responsible for creating inflation.

I’m working my back off 24/7 to make sure we have a strong economy. We have a great healthcare system, great education system, and making sure people can put food on their tables. That’s what I can control.

And with that the Premier walked away – no one laid a glove on the guy. He was there to talk about building homes and that is what he did.

The Greenbelt is important to most people – Doug Ford thinks having a home is even more important to the people who don’t have one – and he appears to be betting that those people will carry the day.

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3 comments to After an hour on his feet Premier Ford left the podium knowing that his ‘we are going to build homes’ message was never in doubt

  • Michael Hribljan

    I watched a bit of this, not all. Sounds like the media wants to make a Whopper out of a nothing burger. Federal Liberals drive inflation and expand immigration will never seen before. No plan in place to deal with the fallout of these policies. Province opens up 0.3% of green space to allow for homes to be build in pockets that are easily serviceable for water, sewage, hydro, storm water etc.. Province replaces this land with a net positive land swap. Lots of accusations, investigations, but nothing factual of wrong doing, ok a process that could be improved (really, classic gatekeeperism). The progressives now go full NIMBY and fueled by mainstream media. Ok, progressives, what’s your solution? Build 50 story condos, curtail immigration, more deficits and government handouts, big pipes to service small towns on the other other side of the greenbelt, what?

  • Stephen White

    I watched this press conference, and was simply aghast at Ford’s response to reporters’ questions. This man is so fixated on his agenda, so bereft of humility, and so seriously lacking in self-awareness, that he can’t see the inherent faults, failings and shortcomings around his government’s policy and approach to housing development.

    The most telling part of the press conference was this question:

    Reporter: Lorenda Redekop, CBC News. You praise Minister Clark’s integrity and his resignation but this wasn’t something you called for. You also didn’t call for his former Chief of Staff’s resignation. You stood behind both of them. What does this mean when it comes to your integrity?

    Fact is: Ford has no credibility anymore. When the leader loses credibility and trust there is really only one option…the same option taken by Amato and Clark. Time to say “Good Bye”.

    • Lynn Crosby

      Very well said Stephen! This man is a disgrace and the press conference gobsmackingly insulting to all Ontarians. Yesterday’s presser with the new Housing Minister was even worse! Integrity is not a word any of our MPPs understand, considering they’re all complicit in this with their collective ear-plugging silence. Honestly how does anyone credibly say this is ok? I hope criminal investigations are next.