Newly revealed documents challenge Ford’s narrative on Greenbelt decisions
QUEEN’S PARK – As more evidence of backroom dealings in the Greenbelt Grab emerge, Ford's Conservatives used their majority to block an NDP bill that would strengthen integrity rules for MPPs and halt the return of cash-for-access culture at Queen's Park.
Marit Stiles, the Leader of the Official Opposition NDP, authored a bill proposing a simple solution to help bring integrity, transparency, and accountability back to the Legislature. The Conservatives voted it down this morning 71 opposed, with 31 in favour.
“One of the most powerful things we can do as legislators is leave this place stronger than it was when we arrived,” Stiles said. “Today, the Conservatives rejected that, doubling-down on their return to a cash-for-access culture where their insider friends come first, and ordinary Ontarians come last.”
Her legislation would have strengthened the Members’ Integrity Act and made it clear that a member of the Assembly shouldn’t accept gifts that could lead to the appearance of a conflict-of-interest. This change would have brought the provincial rules in line with those for federal MPs.
The Conservatives’ vote against integrity came just hours after The Narwhal revealed more details about the Ford Conservatives’ sketchy Greenbelt Grab – details that challenge Ford’s narrative of events.
The documents reported suggest Ford’s inner circle were discussing legislative changes to the Greenbelt months before Premier Doug Ford and Housing Minister Steve Clark told the Integrity Commissioner they were.
Stiles prosecuted Ford’s government during Question Period today, demanding the Premier come clean about when exactly he and his government knew about the Greenbelt proposal.
“Did the Conservatives tip off one of their major donors that they were planning to carve up the Greenbelt?” she demanded. “If they have nothing to hide, when will they release the full records related to their Greenbelt Grab?”