TORONTO — Ontario’s legislature has resumed sitting after a summer recess, with a controversy about Greenbelt land removals looming large, despite Premier Doug Ford saying last week that he is reversing the decision.
Ford says in question period today that his announcement is a sign of leadership, admitting he made a mistake and is moving forward.
Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Paul Calandra says the government members won’t be supporting an NDP private member’s bill today to return lands to the Greenbelt because the government will soon be introducing its own bill to do that.
Calandra says that legislation will also put an additional 7,000 acres into the Greenbelt and will “codify” the boundaries of the protected area in law and not just through regulations, which can be changed without going through the legislature.
The legislature also resumes today with a very different-looking cabinet than when it rose in June, with Steve Clark resigning earlier this month as municipal affairs and housing minister and Kaleed Rasheed resigning as minister of public and business service delivery, both connected to Greenbelt-related revelations.
Monte McNaughton left his labour minister job last week for the private sector, with the three cabinet departures prompting two separate shuffles, with new faces in the housing, long-term care, treasury, transportation, public and business service delivery and environment portfolios.