OPP working to find out whether or not to analyze Greenbelt growth plan

Ontario Provincial Police say they’re working to find out whether or not they need to examine the federal government’s plans to open up the protected Greenbelt to growth.

The Progressive Conservative authorities has proposed eradicating land from 15 totally different areas of the Greenbelt so that fifty,000 properties will be constructed, whereas including acres elsewhere.

Each Premier Doug Ford and his housing minister have mentioned the federal government didn’t tip off builders forward of saying the plan – media studies have prompt some outstanding builders who’re Progressive Conservative donors stand to profit from the transfer.

OPP spokesman Invoice Dickson says the pressure’s Anti Rackets Department is reviewing info from those that complained concerning the Greenbelt transfer with the intention to decide if there’s proof to assist an precise investigation.

Caitlin Clark, a spokeswoman for Ford, says nobody within the premier’s workplace or any member of the federal government has been contacted and no paperwork have been requested by the OPP on the matter.

The federal government introduced its Greenbelt growth proposal in November –contradicting a pledge to not contact the lands – saying the plan was in service of the federal government’s goal of constructing 1.5 million properties in 10 years.

Advocacy group Environmental Defence, which has closely criticized the federal government’s Greenbelt growth plans, says it joined one other group in calling on the OPP to look into publicly accessible info on the Greenbelt transfer.

Phil Pothen, the group’s Ontario Setting Program Supervisor and in-house counsel, says the OPP have interviewed Environmental Defence’s director relating to the matter.

Media studies have prompt that some outstanding builders who’re Progressive Conservative donors purchased Greenbelt land up to now few years regardless of the federal government’s public pronouncements it wouldn’t be developed. One buy occurred as not too long ago as September, based on investigations by the CBC, The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and the Narwhal.

Ontario created the Greenbelt in 2005 to guard agricultural and environmentally delicate lands within the Better Golden Horseshoe space from growth.

Public backlash in 2018 prompted Ford to backtrack on an election pledge to permit housing growth within the Greenbelt, with him promising he would preserve the protected space in its entirety.

Ford additionally made the same vow in 2020 to not “contact” the Greenbelt whereas going through criticism after the chair and 6 members of Ontario’s Greenbelt Council resigned over variations of opinion with the federal government.

In 2021, when saying plans to develop the Greenbelt, the housing minister mentioned he wouldn’t minimize the protected space or do a land swap.

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed Jan. 6, 2022.

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