December 11, 2018 8:47 am

Bill Kelly: Doug Ford backtracks on Greenbelt promise

A video taken during a Doug Ford PC leadership campaign event in Markham on Feb. 12, appears to capture Ford discuss details of an alleged deal he made with developers to have protected public lands within the province's greenbelt be made available for development if he was elected.


The Ford government’s introduction of Bill 66, which will allow development in the Greenbelt, is more than just another broken campaign promise; it could have significant environmental consequences here in southern Ontario.

You may remember that, during the election campaign, Ford was caught on video promising a room full of wealthy developers that he would open up a large chunk of the Greenbelt for them to build on, and it was only after a huge outcry from the public that Ford recanted and promised that he would protect the entire Greenbelt.

READ MORE: Critics say new legislation could open Ontario Greenbelt to development

However, Bill 66 opens the door for municipalities to be granted permission to clear-cut forests and pave paradise in those protected lands.

This is more than just a reversal in policy; it’s a dangerous retreat to a time of environmental ignorance that could have significant consequences.

WATCH BELOW: Critics worry new bill will mean development on Ontario Greenbelt

Wildlife populations will be threatened and experts tell us that fresh water sources could be negatively impacted and of course, there’s the risk of losing valuable agricultural land.

What does Ford envision? A sprawling housing subdivision in the middle of the Holland Marsh?

WATCH BELOW: During the 2018 election campaign, Doug Ford promises to open portion of Greenbelt to development if elected premier

The sad reality is that there is still plenty of available land outside the Greenbelt for residential and commercial development, so incursions into the Greenbelt really aren’t necessary.

It’s bad enough that Ford has reneged on yet another campaign promise, but his apparent disregard for southern Ontario’s fragile environment is even more disturbing.

Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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