Ontario Cabinet Reshuffle Amid Alleged Greenbelt Land Deal Scandal

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In a significant cabinet reshuffle announced by Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Steve Clark’s resignation as housing minister prompts key changes. The governmental cabinet reshuffling has appeared amid continuing vehemence regarding a disapproved Greenbelt land deal responsible for handsome profit accumulation by several developers due to an irregular process supervised by Clark’s deputy. Last week, the integrity commissioner described Clark’s alleged refusal to confront the issues, and compared it to him burying his head in the sand during pivotal decisions on the significant case.

Paul Calandra will be stepping into the vacated position of the housing minister, taking up the housing portfolio as the new minister of municipal affairs and housing. His previous role in long-term care will be filled by Stan Cho as the new minister. The position of the minister of transportation has been assigned to Prabmeet Sarkaria.

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In other significant shifts, Caroline Mulroney, previously criticized for the challenges faced during Eglinton Crosstown construction, will assume the role of president of the treasury board while retaining her portfolio of Francophone affairs. Rob Flack will take up the responsibility of associate housing minister focusing on achievable housing and modular homes, reporting to the minister of municipal affairs and housing.

Todd McCarthy and Nina Tangri have been appointed associate ministers of transportation and small business respectively. Additionally, Andrea Khanjin’s role has been enlarged to take on additional responsibilities, and she will now serve as deputy government house leader reporting to Paul Calandra.

Ford showed confidence in the reshuffled team, stating, “As we persist in attracting billions of dollars in new investments to create better jobs with bigger paycheques, we have the right team in place to get it done.” He further reaffirmed his commitment to the people of Ontario, pledging, “We’ll never stop working on behalf of the province to build the homes, highways and public transit our growing communities need.”

Steve Clark, the Member of Provincial Parliament, resigned controversially following two critical reports regarding the Greenbelt scandal, including one which suggested he had violated ethics rules while dealing with the matter.

In his effort to move past the Greenbelt affair, Premier Ford has also criticized high-interest rates. However, NDP Leader Marit Stiles expressed doubt, suggesting that the reports are merely the tip of the iceberg, and stating that public trust in the Ford government will resume only when the Greenbelt decision is overturned.

Both Stiles and Mike Schreiner, the Ontario Green Party Leader, have scheduled separate conferences for Tuesday morning to discuss Clark’s resignation and the ensuing cabinet changes. Schreiner is also expected to issue a “call for action” after Clark’s resignation.