OPP handing Greenbelt probe to RCMP to avoid any “perceived conflict of interest”

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Published August 23, 2023 at 9:37 am

TORONTO — Ontario Provincial Police are referring a review of the Greenbelt land swap to the RCMP to avoid what it calls “any potential perceived conflict of interest.”

The OPP released a statement this morning saying it had received a number of inquiries regarding a Greenbelt investigation.

It comes a day after the resignation of the chief of staff to the Municipal Affairs and Housing minister, who was at the centre of a damning Ontario auditor general’s report into the government’s decision to open up parts of the protected area.

The report found that all but one of the 15 sites ultimately removed from the Greenbelt last year were suggested not by civil servants, but by Minister Steve Clark’s chief of staff Ryan Amato, who was given packages at an industry event by two key developers.

The OPP said at the time of the report’s release that there was no change in status to its ongoing review into the matter by its anti-rackets branch.

In today’s statement, the OPP says it was not appropriate to provide further comment, “in order to protect the integrity of the process.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 23, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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