A Canada's National Observer investigation into the Doug Ford government's use of controversial ministerial zoning orders to approve development projects, in some cases benefitting political donors and despite environmental concerns.
Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark said he wasn’t sure how many of the controversial land zoning orders the province plans to issue before the next election. "It's really just greenwash for the government's extraordinary misuse of MZOs to drive sprawl," said Phil Pothen of Environmental Defence.
City councillors in Stratford, Ont., should not have voted behind closed doors to seek a controversial land zoning order from the province, an independent investigator found. The order fast-tracked a since-cancelled proposal for a controversial glass factory.
The developers behind the Pickering, Ont., project received a conditional permit Friday night. But in the meantime, local officials called for it to be paused and the Ontario government signalled it would be willing to backtrack.
The developers behind the controversial Durham Live project donated nearly $5,000 to the Progressive Conservatives days before the government made two moves to enable a warehouse to go on top of a protected wetland. Meanwhile, environmental groups asked a court Monday to block the developers from receiving a permit.
The contentious Durham Live project was proposed by a billionaire family keen on building a ‘mini Las Vegas.’ Before that, they were best known for a failed bid to turn the Silverdome arena in Detroit, Mich., into the home of a soccer franchise.
On Thursday, the Ford government introduced a bill that would expand its ability to use controversial land zoning orders. An internal document obtained by Canada’s National Observer shows the move is aimed at quashing a lawsuit that seeks to halt a casino development on a protected Pickering wetland.
Under fire during question period Tuesday, the Ford government didn’t address criticism about the environmental impact of MZOs, the subject of a Canada's National Observer investigation released last week. But PC MPP Parm Gill said the government “will not apologize.” Later, the government announced renewed funding for the Greenbelt Foundation, which critics said was a distraction.
Developers linked to projects fast-tracked by the Ford government poured donations into the the Progressive Conservatives and Ontario Proud, a third-party group that supported the Tories in the 2018 provincial election.