The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is investigating the Ford government’s handling of the Greenbelt after receiving a referral from the Ontario Provincial Police.
The RCMP confirmed to STOREYS that it will be looking into "irregularities in the disposition of the Greenbelt surrounding Toronto."
"We will review and assess the information received and will take appropriate action as deemed necessary," the RCMP said in a statement. "As the investigation is in its infancy and is ongoing, we decline to offer any further comments."
The news comes two weeks after a scathing report from Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk found that the manner in which the provincial government chose to remove land from the Greenbelt was "not transparent, objective, or fully informed," and showed "preferential treatment" to certain developers.
In particular, the 95-page report found that Ryan Amato, Housing Minister Steve Clark’s Chief of Staff, was heavily influenced by suggestions from developers as to which lands should be removed — of the 15 sites that were selected for removal, 14 were put forth by Amato.
On Tuesday, Amato resigned. Ford has insisted that "no one had preferential treatment" in the land swap that will see 7,400 acres of the Greenbelt removed for housing development, and 9,400 acres of protected land added elsewhere.
Lysyk’s report made 15 recommendations, 14 of which the province has said it will move forward with. The one it will not implement is the recommendation to re-evaluate its decision to change the Greenbelt boundaries and open the land up to housing development.