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Ontario Green Party leader calls for public inquiry into Greenbelt land removals

TORONTO — Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner is calling for a full, independent public inquiry into Greenbelt land removals.    

A report this month from the auditor general found that developers who owned 15 sites of land that the Progressive Conservative government removed from the protected Greenbelt area last year now stand to see those properties rise in value by $8.3 billion.

The auditor general found that developers who had access to Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark’s chief of staff wound up with 92 per cent of the land that was removed from the Greenbelt for housing. 

Schreiner says the report answered some questions, but raised even more and that’s why a full public inquiry is needed.

He says Ontarians deserve to know how “wealthy insiders could hand over an envelope that led to government policy decisions with windfall profits of $8.3 billion going to a handful of wealthy elite speculators.” 

Clark’s chief of staff resigned this week, but Schreiner says if Premier Doug Ford believes that’s the end of the scandal he’s wrong because there is much more to be done to restore public trust.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 24, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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