Last episode we spoke with Tim Gray of Environmental Defense, about their ongoing legal action against the Ontario Government to get to the bottom of the Greenbelt Scandal. Little did we know how deep the rabbit hole went.
A few days after the episode aired, Environmental Defense alongside Eco Justice released close to 7,000 pages of documents obtained under an FOI request. Those documents illuminated the shady backroom politics and deals that have been a symptom of this Ontario government. Newsrooms have put their interns and resources into plowing through the trove of documents to see what it tells us. At an early glance, the tale tells of a government which carved up the greenbelt and protected lands at the whims of particular developers who had their ear. Those stories are coming to light slowly but surely. We didn’t want to repeat or take credit for the hard work of other journalists, so that’s not what this episode is going to do.
Instead, we’re going to look for a pattern in what the documents reveal. How does the relationship between the development industry and this government work? What can they tell us about where we are in the housing crisis currently? Is there hope at the end of the tunnel to solve this crisis responsibly and efficiently? Or is there no process at all and it’s clear that it is all just insider bag men and quid pro quo politics?
This Episode is brought to you by Graham Agnew of Dominion Lending
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Nicholas Paul: sound editing.