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Ontario  + Canada  + Cross Border News  + Multi-residential Housing  | 
Some developers are seeking to keep their properties out of Ontario's Greenbelt after the provincial government scrapped a removal plan.

Developers Seek to Keep Properties Out of Greenbelt

Some developers are seeking to keep their properties out of Ontario’s Greenbelt as Premier Doug Ford faces more criticism for his government’s handling of the protected zone surrounding the Greater Toronto Area.

The Trillium reported that some owners of properties in the Greenbelt made a last-ditch request to keep their assets open for development. In September, Ford abruptly backtracked on his government plan to remove certain parcels from the Greenbelt for rental-housing development.

New Housing Minister Paul Calandra later apologized to developers. Calandra also introduced new legislation, passed in December, that further protects lands in the Greenbelt.

In legislative submissions recently made public, the developers have argued that their lands are not environmentally significant and could be better used to solve the province’s housing crisis, the Trillium reported.

The RCMP is investigating the scrapped removal. The auditor-general and integrity commissioner roundly criticized the government, stating that developers were treated favourably. The controversy prompted the resignations of then housing minister Steve Clark and Kaleed Rasheed, the former public services minister. Aides also resigned amid the turmoil.

Now, the Ontario NDP has released an email from a former aide that indicates provincial staff knew of the plan to open the Greenbelt parcels for development. NDP Leader Marit Stiles has asked Integrity Commissioner David Wake to review the consistency of evidence that he obtained during his initial investigation.

Wake said he will review the evidence for inconsistency but will need times to review witnesses’ testimony, Global News reported.

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Inside The Story

Government of OntarioPaul Calandra

About Monte Stewart

Monte Stewart serves as Content Director - Canada for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Monte provides daily news coverage of major Canadian commercial real estate markets, including Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. He has written about the real estate sector for various media outlets and Avison Young since the early 2000s. In addition, he has covered sports, general news and business for several leading wire services and publications, including The Canadian Press, The Associated Press, The Calgary Herald, The Globe and Mail, Research Money, The Daily Oil Bulletin, Natural Gas World and The Toronto Star. Monte is active in his community as a youth basketball coach and raises funds for such charitable causes as Movember.

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