Open letter to Simcoe County MPPs re: Greenbelt scandal
Margaret Prophet is the executive director of the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition
From Simcoe.com, August 29, 2023
By Margaret Prophet
Dear MPP Doug Downey, MPP Jill Dunlop and MPP Caroline Mulroney,
In December of 2022, you and your cabinet colleagues signed off on removal of 7,400 acres of Greenbelt lands.
Thanks to a thorough investigation by the auditor general, the public now knows the process that led to your approval of Greenbelt takeouts was “biased” and gave “preferential treatment” to a select few developers, some of whom also attended personal events held by the premier’s family, as well as having been identified as friends by the premier when asked by the integrity commissioner.
We also know this land grab is likely to result in an increase in asset value for these developers of at least $8 billion. Moreover, the report stated that environmental standards, if they stood in the way of lands being removed from the Greenbelt, were stripped out of the decision-making process.
The auditor general also outlined that staff involved were deleting emails and using personal addresses to conduct government business. Deleting records related to government business is quite likely just as illegal now as it was during the gas-plant scandal, for which a former chief of staff to the premier was found guilty and served time.