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TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 3 - Premier of Ontario Doug Ford. The Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Queen's Park, on October 3, 2018. For a feature by Fatima Syed of the National Observer about the first 100 days of the Ford Government. Carlos Osorio for the Nat

Ford government defends use of controversial land zoning orders

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.

Ford government announces plan to expand Greenbelt

The announcement comes the day after an investigation by Canada’s National Observer showed the Ford government has been using a controversial special zoning order to give the green light to developments in environmentally sensitive areas. Several allowed projects in close proximity to the Greenbelt, which experts say can degrade the protected land.

EXCLUSIVE: Ex-environmental commissioner to run for Ontario Greens

Dianne Saxe held the non-partisan watchdog role from 2015 to 2019, when the Ford government eliminated her position. She was often critical of the province's weakening of environmental policy. "I feel truly horrified by the unrelenting attacks by the Ford government on our natural environment, on the institutions that protect it," she told Canada's National Observer.