doug ford greenbelt

Doug Ford blames immigrants for his plan to eliminate Ontario Greenbelt

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is facing backlash after a Friday afternoon news dump announcing changes to the Greenbelt, and only appears to have stoked anger with an attempt to explain himself during a Monday news conference at Queen's Park.

While addressing the media after a presser discussing the end of the CUPE strike affecting education workers, Ford argued that his broken promise to preserve the Greenbelt of development-protected lands surrounding Toronto was unavoidable.

In what could be perceived as an attempt to ship blame up the chain to Justin Trudeau's federal government, Ford explained that the controversial move on Greenbelt lands was a response to immigration.

"We have a housing crisis today that we didn't have four years ago," said Ford. "The Federal Government announced they're going to bring 500,00 new Canadians — immigrants — to this country," he  continued.

The statement has triggered outrage on social media, ranging from concerns about the wording to accusations of trying to deflect an important issue. Others have taken shots at the premier for alleged ties to real estate developers — the very group set to benefit from proposed Greenbelt revisions.

Though Ford claims that he welcomes new residents, he states that "out of the 500,00 people showing up to Canada, we know 60 per cent of those new Canadians — 300,000 — are going to show up to Toronto and the GTA."

"Where are we going to put 300,000 people a year, almost one million people in three years?" asks Ford, blaming "the inaction of previous governments who didn't want to take bold steps to get housing built."

Ford's proposed revisions to the Greenbelt would eliminate 15 areas of land totalling approximately 7,400 acres, though the province has pledged that their plans will result in "an overall expansion of the Greenbelt."

Lead photo by

Doug Ford

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