Ford reverses Greenbelt decision at Niagara Falls press conference

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Published September 21, 2023 at 3:56 pm

Flanked by 19 Cabinet Ministers, Premier Doug Ford reversed his government's decision to offer up parcels of the Greenbelt to developers. (Screenshot)

In a move that caught many off-guard, Premier Doug Ford completely reversed his government’s Greenbelt land grab at a press conference today (Sept. 21) in Niagara Falls.

Flanked by 19 cabinet ministers, Ford stunned reporters by saying, “I made a promise to you that I wouldn’t touch the Greenbelt. I broke that promise. And for that, I am very, very sorry.”

“It was a mistake to open the Greenbelt,” he noted, saying all the removed Greenbelt lots would be returned.

Ever since a damning Auditor General’s report last month that was extremely critical of his government’s handling of the Greenbelt lands, Ford has been under constant fire from the media.

Today, he appeared almost contrite, even as he explained that the lands would be returned to the Greenbelt.

“I said when the Auditor General (Bonnie Lysyk) released the report that the process was flawed,” he acknowledged. “(As of) now, we are following the recommendations.”

“The intention was right,” he said, meaning the need to build more homes. “I’m not perfect. No government is perfect.”

When one reporter pressed him, pointing out that he said the Greenbelt was a “scam, an area filled mostly with weeds” and asked him point-blank what changed, Ford said, “I listened to the people. I listened to my Cabinet.”

“I acknowledge I made a mistake,” he later added, claiming the Greenbelt is now 9,400 acres larger “than when we took office.”

 

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