Land Deals Amid Greenbelt Issues Spark Inquiry into Ontario Government

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The tumult caused by the alleged withdrawal of land from the protected Greenbelt for a select few possibly marks only the beginning, with opposition parties demanding an inquiry into a separate batch of land modifications that might present yet another challenge for the troubled government of Ontario.

In an apparent windfall for developers, land to the south of Hamilton was integrated into the city’s metropolitan boundary on the very day of the Greenbelt land adjustment, and merely months after the integrity commission discovered a landowner procured tickets for Premier Doug Ford’s daughter’s stag and doe party, as documented records divulge.

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“We won’t stop pursuing this case. We’ll be penning our requests to the auditor general to dive into this. And we will be relentless in seeking answers at the legislature, ” promised NDP MPP Sandy Shaw during a conversation.

The said landowner, a developer named Sergio Manchia, refuted accusations of possessing special information to CTV News Toronto. “It was common knowledge that the minister might press for expansion later that fall. We had no inside tidbits. We simply saw lucrative investments in the properties that hit the market that year, considering the publicly available information. Our interest in these properties dates back to 2020,” explained Manchia via email.

While acknowledging that his firm had indeed bought tickets for the premier’s stag and doe event, Manchia asserted, “I didn’t attend, and we certainly didn’t know beforehand that the province would greenlight the release of the Greenbelt’s several land parcels.”

Doubts surround multiple properties on the White Church Road that were ceremoniously annexed to Hamilton’s urban boundary in November of 2022. Manchia, reportedly, is a board member of a company that acquired two properties on this very road – one for $2.9 million in 2021 and the other for $6 million in 2023.

A plausibly enormous $8.3 billion jackpot potentially awaits the landowners as a neighbouring piece of land was freed from the Greenbelt in the wake of a process that, according to official reports from provincial sources, showed signs of bias and inconsistencies.

Ontario Liberals’ leader, John Fraser, set his sights squarely on the boundary revisions during the legislature’s Question Period. “No one is buying the Premier’s stories any more. The Greenbelt issue has just kickstarted something huge, it’s apparent there’s more happening in Ontario’s corridors of power,” Fraser articulated.

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