The Auditor General’s report found that Government-connected landowners stand to profit by $8.28 billion from opening up 7,400 acres of the GTA Greenbelt.
You can read the report here.
Until recently, the lands in question could not be developed and were protected. The lands have all been purchased by speculators in the past 3 years at prices reflecting the inability to build.
In the new report, the Auditor General found that the Chief of Staff to the Minister of Housing hand-picked the land sites that would be removed from the Greenbelt – 92% of which were suggested to the Chief of Staff by prominent and wealthy developers who had inside access to Ministry staff, and who would be the direct beneficiaries of the land swaps.
The Auditor General’s report, and the Government’s Housing Task Force report, both make clear that the Government and housing industry can meet provincial targets for housing construction without the Greenbelt lands.
The report also makes it clear that the Housing Minister’s Chief of Staff was operating under the direct authority of the Minister and the Premier’s Office.