TORONTO — Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he did not instruct staff to include specific developer-owned lands in expansions of urban boundaries that would have allowed building in those areas.
The government announced last week that it was reversing course on urban boundary expansions that were introduced last year, after the new housing minister said there was too much involvement in the process by the former minister’s office.
Advocacy group Environmental Defence released thousands of pages of emails and documents Monday about that process and they claim the communications show political staff directed changes that would benefit certain developers.
One of the emails from the housing minister’s chief of staff at the time suggest the premier’s office wanted to see maps of land in Nobleton, Ont., “to make sure it’s captured.”
The subject line of the emails suggest the land was partly owned by the company founded by Shakir Rehmatullah, a friend of Ford’s who attended the premier’s daughter’s wedding, and who was also set to benefit from the now-reversed changes to the Greenbelt.
When asked today about the emails, Ford said he did not direct staff to take any actions on that land.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 31, 2023.
The Canadian Press