HAMILTON - Ontario NDP MPP Sandy Shaw (Hamilton West – Ancaster – Dundas), Official Opposition critic for Environment, Conservation and Parks, is calling for accountability after the Auditor General's damning report on the Ford government's corrupted mishandling of the Greenbelt and complete disregard for environmental protections.
This special report revealed a series of backroom dealings involving protected lands being unlocked to enrich wealthy developers, exposing a deeply troubling pattern of insider dealings within the Conservative Government, all at the expense of Ontario's essential agricultural lands and ecosystems.
"Let's be clear - this was never about housing," said Shaw. "There is more than enough land within Hamilton's existing boundaries to build the homes we so desperately need. Despite the recommendations from expert planners, the Ford Government opened up 1,800 acres to developers, the second-largest removal of Greenbelt lands from protection in Ontario.
Ford's failure to prioritize the Greenbelt and environmental protections speaks volumes about his government's values. This was done without consulting Ontarians, without any engagement with First Nations, and all done at private dinner parties. The people of this province no longer trust this government.
This is the same government that has undermined renewable energy projects, watered down the environmental protection act, and removed species from the endangered list. This government sat on its hands and watched the province burn without ensuring adequate wildfire-fighting measures. This scathing report serves as a stark reminder that the government abandoned wetland tracking back in 2018 and issued a historic number of Minister's Zoning Orders that only benefited developers while endangering provincially significant lands.
We all deserve better. We deserve leadership that genuinely prioritizes the well-being of our environment and future generations.
Ford's inaction on critical environmental matters directly endangers the welfare of all Ontarians. No one trusts this government when it comes to the environment, and this report confirms our worst suspicions."