Tough week for the Premier: RCMP Investigating Handling Of Greenbelt

By Staff

August 26th, 2023



The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is investigating the Ford government’s handling of the Greenbelt after receiving a referral from the Ontario Provincial Police.

The RCMP has confirmed that it will be looking into “irregularities in the disposition of the Greenbelt surrounding Toronto.”

“We will review and assess the information received and will take appropriate action as deemed necessary,” the RCMP said in a statement. “As the investigation is in its infancy and is ongoing, we decline to offer any further comments.”

The news comes two weeks after a scathing report from Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk found that the manner in which the provincial government chose to remove land from the Greenbelt was “not transparent, objective, or fully informed,” and showed “preferential treatment” to certain developers.

The 95-page report found that Ryan Amato, Housing Minister Steve Clark’s Chief of Staff, was heavily influenced by suggestions from developers as to which lands should be removed — of the 15 sites that were selected for removal, 14 were put forth by Amato.

Amato resigned on Tuesday. Ford has insisted that “no one had preferential treatment” in the land swap that will see 7,400 acres of the Greenbelt removed for housing development, and 9,400 acres of protected land added elsewhere.

Lysyk’s report made 15 recommendations, 14 of which the province has said it will move forward with. The one it will not implement is the recommendation to re-evaluate its decision to change the Greenbelt boundaries and open the land up to housing development.

Leader of the Opposition Marit Stiles standing in a field of soybean plants in the Greenbelt Photo courtesy NDP

Marit Stiles, Leader of the New Democrast Opposition has to be given credit for writing the provincial Auditor General asking that there be a “value for money” review of the decisions the province made on Greenbelt properties.

When the report was made public Stiles did more digging and found that there were other people involved in providing information to the developers.

Premier Doug Ford with Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing: Keeping a brave face.

The Premier said “no one had preferential treatment” and the Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs said he wasn’t aware of what his Chief of Staff was doing.

Someone is either really incompetent or has a very very long nose.

The public is hoping the Mounties prove to be very competent – which might be a stretch for some people.

Big question going into next week is – how much longer will Minister of Municipal Affairs Steve Clarke be in Cabinet?

Related news stories:

Premier gives his side of the story.

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3 comments to Tough week for the Premier: RCMP Investigating Handling Of Greenbelt

  • Tom Muir

    Builders and developers are obviously not stupid people.

    So why on earth would they buy a parcel of Greenbelt property that has zero development value, a relevant short time before it is decreed by provincial rules, that it is no longer valued as Greenbelt, but now can can be developed for the highest land-use economic value there is?

    And oh yes,nobody who knew told them?

    I guess this above suspicion, and palpable, and undoubted open question, with billions of inferential dollars flowing in cause and effect, needs an investigation by the RCMP, as it is above the rest of us who are stupid.

  • Perryb

    Does our MPP Nathalie Pierre have anything to say about this? Silence means consent. Has anyone asked?

  • Rick Law

    Would you buy a used car from this man?