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Doug Ford says he would open up Greenbelt for some development

Last Updated Apr 30, 2018 at 12:57 pm EDT

Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford takes questions from journalists during a pre-budget lock-up as the Ontario Provincial Government prepares to deliver its 2018 Budget at the Queens Park Legislature in Toronto on March 28, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Doug Ford says he would open up the protected Greenbelt around the Toronto area for some development if elected premier this spring.

The Progressive Conservative leader says he supports the idea of the protected region but would allow development in some areas to create more supply in the housing market, including more affordable housing.

For every piece of the Greenbelt opened for development, Ford says he would add equivalent land to the protected area to ensure it doesn’t change in size, but he didn’t offer details on how that would work.

His comments come after Liberal Environment Minister Chris Ballard pointed today to a video of the Tory leader taken in early February in which Ford says he would open up a “big chunk” of the Greenbelt for development.

Ballard said the Greenbelt, which borders the Greater Golden Horseshoe area that surrounds Lake Ontario, must continue to be preserved.

The Greenbelt, established in 2005, protects environmentally sensitive land and farmlands from urban development.