In politics, it’s easy for today’s promises to become tomorrow’s lies.
Considering Ontario has a housing affordability crisis on its hands, prior to the election, Toronto Storeys reached out to Premier-Elect Doug Ford and the other party leaders to find out their plans for housing.
So let’s hold the next Progressive Conservative premier to task with his housing plan — and let’s see if he can improve upon it.
Because, in actuality, as you’ll see in the original listing of each party leaders’ plans, Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservatives’ housing plan was the only one that didn’t require bullet points.
We never received a solid plan from Doug Ford.
Here’s what we were able to round up:
While the Grits said Ford’s approach to housing would be to pave over the Greenbelt and give land to their rich developer friends, he claimed the NDP’s plan is uncosted and assumes that 20,000 affordable housing units will come out of thin air.
Even before the official campaign got started, newbie Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford wandered into the Greenbelt and stepped into a political bog.
In a web video shot in February and offered up by the Liberal government, Ford rightly talks about the need for more housing. But goes on to say in order to meet the need he would open up a great swath of the protected Greenbelt for housing development. Then he concedes that the idea came from “some of the biggest developers in this country.”
That was the first public admission of such a controversial plan.
(A little background here: The then-Premier Dalton McGuinty Liberal government established by legislation the 800,000-hectare Golden Horseshoe Greenbelt protected area. It stretched from Niagara to Port Hope and north along the Niagara Escarpment. The goal was to limit urban sprawl and preserve watersheds and prime agricultural lands.)
Ford tried his best to deal with the outrage, but eventually gave up, saying he listened to the people and would not touch the green belt.
And that is everything we got from Doug Ford when it came to a housing plan.