New Ontario minister touts progress on housing recommendations, but without detail

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Published September 7, 2023 at 2:52 pm

Ontario’s new housing minister says the government has “fully implemented” 21 of its housing affordability task force’s recommendations, but his office won’t say which ones.

Paul Calandra held a press conference today, his second in as many days, the same week he took over the portfolio after Steve Clark resigned in the wake of two scathing Greenbelt reports.

The auditor general and the integrity commissioner found that the housing minister’s chief of staff favoured certain developers over others when selecting which lands would come out of the Greenbelt for housing.

Calandra said yesterday that a planned review of the Greenbelt could see even more land removed, but set out today to put a positive spin on action the government is taking to build 1.5 million homes by 2031.

He touted the progress on implementing recommendations from a February 2022 housing affordability task force report, saying that a website would soon be launched with updates, but when asked for details a spokesperson only sent a copy of the prepared remarks Calandra had read.

The task force’s report also said a shortage of land isn’t the problem and Greenbelts must be protected.

The Canadian Press

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