Ontario could return some land to Greenbelt after developers tried to sell: Ford government
Posted Aug 29, 2023 07:47:40 AM.
Last Updated Aug 29, 2023 02:46:27 PM.
Two parcels of land could soon be returned to the Greenbelt after the property owners listed the land for sale, the Ford government says.
A statement from Premier Doug Ford alleges two sites in Ajax were put up for sale and the government has immediately started the process of putting the land back into the Greenbelt. The property was chosen as part of a land swap that the province says will bring tens of thousands of new homes to Ontario.
“At no point was the intention to sell disclosed to the government’s facilitator during active and ongoing discussions,” reads Ford’s statement. “This behaviour goes against everything that our government is doing to bring home ownership into reach for more people.”
Ford says other property owners involved are being put on notice and their land could also be returned if they don’t meet the government’s conditions, “including showing real progress by the end of the year to get shovels into the ground by 2025.”
Ontario created the Greenbelt in 2005 to protect agricultural and environmentally sensitive lands in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area from development. Last year, the province took 7,400 acres of land out of the Greenbelt to build 50,000 homes and replaced it with about 9,400 acres elsewhere.
Earlier this month, the auditor general found the Ford government gave preferential treatment to certain land developers when it removed the land.
Last week, Ford said he was confident nothing criminal took place in his government’s process of removing land. He and Housing Minister Steve Clark have also said they didn’t know how sites that were removed from the protected area were selected.
With files from The Canadian Press