Ontario Housing Minister Steve Clark broke the Member’s Integrity Act when carving up the Greenbelt for development, a new report by the province’s integrity commissioner finds.
In a report released Wednesday, Integrity Commissioner J. David Wake found that Clark contravened two sections of the Members’ Integrity Act by “failing to oversee the process by which lands in the Greenbelt were selected to development.”
The 166-page report found this led to “the private interests of certain developers being furthered improperly.”
“The evidence paints a picture of a process marked by misinterpretation, unnecessary hastiness and deception,” Wake wrote in the summery of his report.
Wake acknowledges that while Clark’s chief of staff—who resigned from his position following a bombshell report by the auditor general—embarked on a “chaotic and almost reckless process,” it was ultimately the minister’s responsibility to supervise his staff.
According to the integrity commissioner, Clark misinterpreted a mandate letter regarding removal of land from the Greenbelt resulting in a rushed timeline, made the decision to withdraw from supervision over the decision-making process, and took the proposal to cabinet without properly questioning his staff’s choices.
As such, Wake found that Clark breached sections 2 and 3(2) of the Member’s Integrity Act. These sections cover conflicts of interest and the use of insider information.
The commissioner has recommended that Clark be reprimanded for his actions, with Wake acknowledging there will be a “political price to be paid.”
This is a breaking news story. More to come.