The money trail: Developers who donated to Ontario Proud, PC party got the green light for projects
In Pickering, Ont., a cluster of marshes and swamps south of Highway 401 has become an unexpected battleground, pitting job creation against environmental preservation. The wetland of willow trees, silver maples and cattails, once protected from development by provincial rules, is now slated to become a warehouse attached to a nearby casino development.
Since 2018, Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government has used unappealable special orders to allow a host of powerful developers to build in a number of ecologically sensitive areas, bypassing the usual approval process. In addition to the Pickering wetland, ministerial zoning orders (MZOs) have also allowed swaths of farmland and a slice of ecologically sensitive moraine to be opened up for development.
Since 2018, the Progressive Conservatives have issued 37 MZOs and used a similar mechanism to rezone land in a 38th case. An analysis by Canada’s National Observer, released this week, shows that 14 of those orders have been for sites with environmental concerns.
To read the rest of this article, view it at The National Observers Website