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Ontario to review municipalities’ Greenbelt costs and compensate them, minister says

TORONTO — Ontario’s municipal affairs and housing minister says the province will compensate two municipalities for costs they incurred while working on the now-reversed Greenbelt land removals in their communities.

Premier Doug Ford admitted last month that it was a mistake to remove 15 parcels from the protected Greenbelt for housing development, and his government has now started the process to return them.

But Pickering, Ont., which was home to the largest of the Greenbelt parcels, and Grimsby, Ont., say they spent a lot of money and staff time working on those plans, to the tune of $360,135 and $82,000 respectively.

They say those costs include outside legal and consulting contracts as well as indirect costs of the staff time spent on Greenbelt-related work.

Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Paul Calandra says while he initially indicated he wouldn’t compensate them, he has changed his mind after announcing Monday that he is also reversing the expansion of urban boundaries for several communities and will help those municipalities with related costs.

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Calandra says he will review the costs that Pickering and Grimsby are submitting.

&© 2023 The Canadian Press

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