Tip sheet on how the matter of those sort of legal land transfers is going to go down.

By Pepper Parr

August 18th, 2023



There is a publication with a 127 year history of giving people who like to spend time at the race track placing bets on the ponies. The Daily Racing Form provides horse racing tips, news, handicapping and analysis: trusted from Kentucky to Hong Kong.

See this opinion column as a local tip sheet on what is going on at Queen’s Park.

Here is the way that messy business of land transfers is going to go down. Large tracts of land were purchased by a few developers.

Shortly after the purchases closed the developers provided descriptions of the parcels of land to the Chief of Staff for the Minister of Housing. Ryan Amato, the Chief of Staff, referred to as the kid worked with Government Staff who were required to sign documents that prevented them from talking to anyone about the work they were doing.

Story is that site 9 had not been closed before it was placed on the list of properties to be taken out of the Greenbelt boundary.

The tracts of land were then taken out of the Greenbelt boundaries and could then be used to build housing on.

That had greedy developers in a position to rake in billions once the land they had purchased had houses on the land.

The Auditor General investigated and set out what took place

The Auditor names Minister of Housing Chief of Staff Ryan Amato as the person who handled all the paperwork.

Everybody thinks the kid should be fired along with his boss the Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs.

Others think the kid should be fired and the Minister should do the decent thing and resign.

Doug Ford, the Premier doesn’t see it that way.

He takes the principled decision that the buck stops at his desk and he said no one loses their job; however he does ask the Provincial Integrity Commissioner to look into the ethical issues to see  if there are any and to report back to him. The Integrity Commissioner actually reports to the Legislature.

The Integrity Commissioner is hired by the province with a multi-year contract.

Amato who was out of the country on vacation when the Auditor General’s report was made public is reported to have lawyered up.

We now wait. Premier says his people are fine – they are doing their job which is everything possible to build the 1.5 million homes that are needed by 2031 (there isn’t a hope in hades that the target is going to be reached – but we have to wait until 2031 to be sure don’t we?

At some point the Integrity Commissioner issues a report and sets out multiple ethical breaches and suggests the kid be let go.

Premier with a huge sigh announces that the Integrity Commissioner is not part of the government, they are in place to advise the government and the advice is – let the kid go.


Doug is off the hook – he said keep the kid.  The Minister of Housing is safe and secure – he is just doing his job – getting much needed homes built.

The Leader of the Opposition Marit Stiles, is doing everything she can to keep the issue front and center but with the Legislature recessed until September the public isn’t going to hear very much.

Doug Ford did say that if the property does not have housing on it by 2031 he will return the land to the Greenbelt.

There are numerous groups looking for ways to force the government to do that now.

Is that doable?

If there is a will – there is a way.

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

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2 comments to Tip sheet on how the matter of those sort of legal land transfers is going to go down.

  • Rick Law

    Hoping that this becomes a criminal matter in the hands of the Police.

    • Joe Gaetan

      Just like the McGuinty $2 billiion no gas plants, for 2 seats scandal, I hope all the facts come out before we judge the outcome. As to Marti Stiles, what else does she have to do but her job. The Liberals are out of power because of McGuinty and Wynne (see Erskine-Smith/Crombie article).