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NDP asks for ethics probe on ties between developer, former Ontario minister

TORONTO — Ontario’s official Opposition has filed a request to the integrity commissioner to probe the relationship between former senior members of the premier’s office and a prominent developer whose land was removed from the protected Greenbelt.

New Democrat Leader Marti Stiles says her party wants the commissioner to examine a 2020 trip to Las Vegas by then-minister Kaleed Rasheed, Doug Ford’s then-principal secretary Amin Massoudi, Jae Truesdell – at the time in the private sector but who served as Ford’s director of housing policy starting in January 2022 – and developer Shakir Rehmatullah.

Rasheed, Massoudi and Truesdell initially told the integrity commissioner they went to Las Vegas in December 2019 where they “briefly” encountered Rehmatullah.

They later said the trip occurred in 2020 after reports from The Trillium and CTV called Rasheed’s timeline of his trip into question and a spokesperson said Rasheed had “mistakenly” given the integrity commissioner incorrect dates.

Stiles wants the integrity commissioner to examine the “misleading” information given to the commissioner.

The province removed land from the Greenbelt last year to develop housing, but has since tabled legislation to reverse the move after a public outcry and reports from legislative watchdogs that found the selection process favoured certain developers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 18, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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