QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario NDP has revealed new evidence showing further involvement from the Premier’s Office in the Greenbelt scandal.
Emails obtained in response to a Freedom of Information request suggest a timeline that is inconsistent with the testimonies provided by Ryan Amato and Patrick Sackville under oath, and that the Premier’s office knew about the land swaps much earlier than they claimed.
Official Opposition NDP Leader Marit Stiles is calling for the Premier to start being transparent with Ontarians about what really happened.
“This e-mail shows that the Premier’s office was far more involved in the Greenbelt land removals than Mr. Ford claimed. The Conservatives are trying desperately to make this scandal go away, but it is becoming increasingly clear that they cannot hide from their corruption.
“With each new piece of evidence, we are seeing more cracks in the narrative that the Premier and his insiders have been trying to spin. But the truth is becoming clearer every day – Mr. Ford was not in the dark about his government’s corrupt Greenbelt decisions.
“It’s time for the Conservatives to come clean about how they deceived Ontarians with this Greenbelt fiasco. If they don’t, I’m confident the RCMP will.”
Patrick Sackville (former principal secretary and current chief of staff to the Premier) and Ryan Amato (former chief of staff to the former Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing) exchanged information including “list of criteria for removals” of 7,400 acres of the Greenbelt
These emails were exchanged 10 days before the dates that Amato and Sackville provided to the Office of the Integrity Commissioner in a testimony made under oath
Amato and Sackville used their personal emails to exchange information about public policy instead of their government emails
Using personal email for conducting government business does not exempt one from the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, as outlined in the Auditor General’s special report on the Greenbelt land removals which saw recurring use of personal emails by government staff