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Ontario Housing Minister Steve Clark speaks to media at Queen’s Park

Premier Doug Ford said he was “not happy at all” about the process in which Ontario’s Greenbelt land was extracted but dodged multiple questions about Steve Clark’s future as housing minister on Thursday, only saying that he had ‘confidence’ in him and that he would ‘continue to be a part of our team.”

“Am I happy about the process? I’m not happy at all about it,” Ford said speaking to reporters in Etobicoke.

The premier’s remarks come on the heels of a scathing report from the province’s integrity commissioner, which found Clark broke ethics rules when the Ford government carved up the Greenbelt for development.

In just a couple hours, at 12:30 p.m., Clark is set to make his own announcement, marking his first media availability since the commissioner found he violated two sections of the Members’ Integrity Act.

Integrity commissioner J. David Wake’s report, released Wednesday, revealed Clark had failed to oversee the process of Greenbelt land selected for development, which led to furthering “the private interests of certain developers.”

The province took 7,400 acres out of the Greenbelt last year with plans to build 50,000 homes on the land, and replaced it with about 9,400 acres elsewhere.

Holding the top job on the housing file, it was Clark’s responsibility to supervise the process – characterized by Wake as “chaotic and almost reckless.”

The commissioner has recommended that Clark be formally reprimanded for his actions and that there be a “political price to be paid.”

The premier is also scheduled to meet with the federal housing minister on Thursday afternoon, with Clark scheduled to be present at the meeting.

Throughout Ford’s media availability, the premier dodged questions about firing his embattled housing minister and instead, reiterated his steadfast support for Clark.

“I have confidence in Minister Clark. The buck stops with me,” Ford said.

However, a senior source close to the premier told CTV News Toronto that Ford is fighting to keep Clark while staff argue his resignation may be the only way to stop the bleeding from the Greenbelt report. 

With files from CTV News Toronto’s Siobhan Morris and Katherine Declerq

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