QUEEN’S PARK — The Ontario NDP’s critic for Ethics and Accountability, Taras Natyshak, made the following statement following a CBC report that Doug Ford has, for a third time, attempted to punch holes in Ontario’s Greenbelt — this time, by holding secret, backroom meetings with a developer whose family members have donated more than $100,000 to the Conservative party:
“Ontarians have made it clear that they do not want holes punched in our cherished Greenbelt. But, apparently, without constant supervision, Doug Ford will just keep cooking up backroom deals to mow down chunks of the Greenbelt for developers.
At this point, it should come as a surprise to no one that Doug Ford has, according to reports from the CBC, acted in true Doug Ford fashion and tried to strike another shady deal with wealthy developers at the expense of the interests of regular Ontarians.
The first time he got caught promising developers he would open up a ‘big chunk’ of the Greenbelt, Ford said he would leave the Greenbelt alone. The second time Ford tried to break up the protected land, by sneaking legislation into his omnibus Bill 66 that would have scrapped environmental protections and handed over Greenbelt land to developers, the outrage of municipalities, environmental groups and the public pushed Ford to back down — publicly, at least.
Now, we learn that Ford has spent months trying to cut a sweetheart deal to break up the Greenbelt with a developer whose family has given more than $100,000 to Ford and his Conservatives.
We know Doug Ford never does the right thing until he gets caught. They say third time’s a charm, but it seems that Doug Ford will keep trying to trade favours with insiders at the expense of the rest of Ontario.”